I tried making millet for the first time a couple of days ago. It was a disaster. The millet was gummy and undercooked. I made the rooky mistake of thinking it was more like quinoa and less like rice. I open it while it was cooking, I stirred, I added too little water. A disaster. So I took it upon myself to master this grain, as it is a tasty (gluten-free) alternative to rice and quinoa when cooked properly.
I realized that unlike quinoa and rice, millet a bit flavorless when cooked in water. Toasting millet for several minutes allows for the development of a delicate nutty aroma. Cooking it in broth allows for depth in flavor to develop as it cooks. By itself, millet is filling, hearty, and almost heavy. When combined with an array of vegetables, nuts, and a refreshing dressing, it can be light and invigorating.
For this recipe I used a commination of raw Brussels spouts leaves, pumpkin seeds and a grapefruit dressing for a unique experience. Each ingredient compliments each other perfectly. The grapefruit juice brings out the nuttiness in the millet and calms down some of the sprouts bitterness. The seeds add crunch and texture. The avocado, creaminess and fat. This sublime combination is perfect for winter. It is comforting and filling while refreshing and tangy.
And especially during this time of the year, when days are short and cold, everybody needs a bit of energy and a lifting of the spirits, with a healthy salad.
Millet Winter Salad
- ½ cup millet
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 12-15 Brussels sprouts (leaves separated)
- 1 avocado (sliced thinly)
- grapefruit Dressing (see below)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- Juice of ½ small grapefruit
- Zest of ½ small grapefruit
- ½ tsp. honey
- Pinch of salt
To make millet, start by heating tablespoon of olive oil on a skillet over medium heat. Add millet to skillet and stir every so often for 5 minutes. Millet should be glossy and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. On a separate pot, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add toasted millet to boiling water. Reduce temperature to low, cover and let cook, untouched for 30 minutes. Millet should be light and fluffy. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.
While the millet cooks prepare the rest of the salad’s components. To prepare the Brussels sprouts cut the bottom stem of each sprout and peel off each leaf, discarding any that might be bruised or brown. Add leaves to a bowl and set aside. Make the dressing by whisking ingredients together until well incorporated.
To assemble salad, add millet to bowl with Brussels sprouts leaves. Add thinly sliced avocado and dressing. Mix. Top off with pepitas and serve. If not eating immediately you can definitely refrigerate for a day or two.