I was so happy when I went to the grocery store last week. Summer is pretty much here, and the rainbow of foods in the produce section was completely and utterly inspiring. I saw three varieties of fresh cherries, beautiful heirloom tomatoes, and eggplant that was plump and shiny (as opposed to the weird wrinkled version so common in winter months). I may have gone in with a list, but I came out with whatever caught my eye (everything caught my eye).
I’ve made no secret of my love of grilling – it’s an easy way to make delicious and flavorful meals! The thing that makes grilling really special is the creativity and flavors you put into your side dishes. One of my favorite new grains (since my introduction to the STEP™ Program) happens to work perfectly in a colorful side dish. With a distinctly nutty flavor that works well with a variety of vegetables and proteins, millet is a flexible and easy to work with grain. I had never eaten it before, and now I’m wondering how I ever went this long without giving it a try!
This week’s recipe is a simple tossed salad that combines the nutty goodness of millet with a rainbow of fresh veggies, drenched in a delicious lime dressing that helps the millet stick to every bite. The salad is very forgiving, so just use whatever veggies you have on hand. This would be a great way to use up all of those vegetable “odds and ends” you have left over after preparing other meals. And I should also mention – I thought it tasted better the next day, so consider making this in advance as your contribution to a pot luck picnic.
Serve this hearty salad alongside your favorite grilled meat for the perfect summer meal.
Millet Salad Recipe
- 1/2 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon light salt, divided
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, grated
- 1-2 teaspoons jalapeno, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add millet; cook 10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove millet from heat and let cool, uncovered.
Combine red pepper, green onions, carrot, and jalapeno in a bowl. Add prepared millet and toss.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and cumin. Drizzle dressing over millet and vegetables. Toss well to coat.
Add tomato, avocado, and cilantro, tossing gently to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Makes 4 servings.