Autumn is slowly making its way to Denver. Like many places in the Northern Hemisphere, the Mile High City reported record high temperatures this summer. Cameron and I have endured hot weather without air conditioning, but this year we broke down and purchased a small a/c for our bedroom.
Our furry apartment mates, Waffles the Cat and Charlotte the Cattle Dog, fought us for the best air coverage from the rumbling machine’s vent. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I suspect Waffles and Charlotte are just as relieved that cooler weather is making its appearance in our fair city.
With cooler temperatures comes warming comfort foods, and to kick off “almost autumn,” this weekend I prepared a warm grain salad featuring millet.
I’ve wanted to cook with millet for quite some time, but I hadn’t had much luck finding recipes that appealed to me. Fortunately, the newest issue of Vegetarian Times ran an article about ancient grains that are slowly making a comeback in kitchens.
To save your digestive tract from undue discomfort, be sure to prepare the millet correctly. Properly cooked millet should be fluffy. If it has absorbed all the water called for in the recipe and is still crunchy, add a little extra water. Fluffy millet is key to this tasty dish.
Warm Salad of Millet and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts
(Adapted from Vegetarian Times)
1 1/4 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
5 Tbs. grapeseed oil, divided
3/4 cup millet
2/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (I omitted this one since I don’t like the flavor.)
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Toss Brussels sprouts with 2Tbs. oil in large bowl, and season with salt, if desired. Arrange sprouts in single layer in 13-x9-inch baking dish. Roast 20 to 24 minutes, or until brown and tender, stirring once. Cool 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add millet, and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden. (Watch and stir the millet while you’re roasting. It’s easy to burn them.)
3. Add 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. (Important note: If the millet doesn’t fluff, it means you’ll need more water. Add a little extra to the pan if the allotted water is absorbed, but the grains are still in pellet form.)
4. Transfer millet to large bowl. Cool 5 minutes. Fold Brussels sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, and parsley (if using) into millet.
5. Whisk together remaining 3 Tbs. oil, vinegar, syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest in bowl. Stir into millet mixture, and season with salt, if desired.