Since going gluten free, I’ve been exploring my local bulk foods store to look at other cereal/grain alternatives. I often experiment with different pulses, but less often with different flours and grains. Working my way through the aisles, I’ve been researching lesser known ingredients and bringing them into my kitchen.
This recipe is based on a wonderful and less commonly used super grain that hails originally from China – in fact, it was the original stable grain before rice! Loaded with magnesium and vitamin B, millet is a versatile gluten free grain that is very high in protein (15%)! A grain that was popular in the 70s, but now more commonly used as animal fodder, millet really is a super grain that is worth adding to your plant-based diet!
You can substitute millet in your favourite rice, couscous or quinoa recipes, but here I’ve used it as the base for a super green salad! The millet is tossed in a coriander, mint and lime dressing, and loaded with crunchy pistachios, thinly sliced peppery radishes, and dried sour cherries. This salad is substantial without weighing you down. A perfect lunch or light dinner, it can be bulked up with some grilled vegetables or served alongside a protein. Served at room temperature, this salad is perfect to make ahead for for your lunchbox. Good for picnics and potlucks? You betcha! Oh, and the name? Think Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element.
Super Green Millet Salad
Adapted from “Green Couscous” in Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty.
100g coriander (cilantro), all the stems and some of the leaves
15g mint, leaves picked
90g extra virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced (zest it first)
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
300g |1.5 cups millet
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
50g | 3 radishes, thinly sliced with a mandoline
70g | 2/3 cup dried sour cherries
70g | 2/3 cup shelled pistachios, dry roasted
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
zest of one lime
30g | 1 cup rocket (arugula)
50g | 1/2 cup mint and coriander, leaves picked (cilantro)
1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the dressing: Blend of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, scraping down sides if needed.
For the salad: Toast the millet in a saucepan over high heat for 3-4min, stirring continuously. Add 3 cups of water and bring to boil (be careful of sputtering). Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 20min until all water has absorbed and millet is tender.
Meanwhile, fry the onion with oil, cumin and salt in a fry pan (skillet) till golden and cooked through. Remove from heat to cool.
Fluff up the millet with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the green dressing and mix till evenly coated. Leave to cool slightly, then add the cooked onion and remaining salad ingredients.
Season to taste and serve at room temperature. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up 2-3 days.