I get bursts of foodie enlightenment from non-foodie movies. Years ago, when I watched the Japanese epic film Seven Samurai, I learned that millet was a food. In the movie, the poor, desperate villagers offer their precious white rice to the samurai when they could only afford to eat millet. I always wondered what could possibly be less precious than rice? In my life, rice has always been cheap.
Many people will screw up their noses at millet as it’s known as bird feed. Not so glamourous and hardly something today’s foodie would choose to eat, right?
Millet is technically a seed but used as a grain so for blogging purposes, I’m calling it a grain. Millet is gluten free and being a seed, it holds decent nutrients and makes a great substitute for pasta, rice etc. It’s very easy to cook, lasts in the pantry for ages and fairly versatile it seems.
Tomatoes are in season here but if they are not, feel free to omit them or replace them with capsicum (peppers). I used some of our yellow pear tomatoes in place of 1 regular tomato. The extra boost of colour is fun.
Roast Vegetable and Millet Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 cloves garlic
6 button mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup hulled millet
1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 392°F
- Wash and slice zucchini into 2 cm rounds. Wash and quarter tomatoes. If using cherry sized tomatoes, leave whole. Peel and roughly chop garlic. Halve mushrooms.
- Put all chopped vegetables into an oven proof dish, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
- Roast for 1 hour.
- In the meantime, place a saucepan with lid over high heat. Add 1 cup millet and stir gently for 2 minutes to toast the seeds. They will start to smell a little fragrant and nutty. Do not allow the millet to go brown.
- Very carefully, add 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow water to boil, then reduce heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Do not stir.
- Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork and stir through 1 tablespoon butter.
- Stir into roast vegetable dish when vegetables are cooked. Serve hot or at room temperature or cool and refrigerate and serve cold.
We had ours with meatballs for dinner and leftover millet was eaten cold the next day.