Sunday, July 27, 2008

Millet Millet

Still on the preserved lemon kick, I was in charge of making and brining a gluten-free, vegan dish for a group of 15. It has been really hot out and I had a hankering for a pasta-like salad, but I really haven't found a rice pasta that holds up when cold, so I thought about millet instead of couscous.

It cooks up a bit differently, it doesn't separate as cleanly as couscous. But like couscous, its a pretty neutral background flavor that really works as a salad.

Millet Millet
(I would half or quarter this recipe if I made it again. It made a ton of food.)

2 cups dried millet, rinsed (remove little stems)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 cups water
2 zucchini, sliced
2 summer squash sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large eggplant
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
½-1 peel of preserved lemon, washed
¼ cup olive oil

1. Toast the cleaned millet in the bottom of a heavy stock pot in olive oil over medium heat, until the millet starts to brown.
2. Add water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover.
3. Millet should cook in about 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to steam.
Squash & onion
1. grill or pan-sear squash and onion
2. allow to cool and dice
3. add to cooked millet
Eggplant & Tomatoes
1. Pre-heat oven to 450F
2. slice, salt and press eggplant, then risen and cube
3. Mix spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, pepper and allspice) and coat eggplant
4. Place tomatoes and coated eggplant on parchment/silpat-lined sheet pan and roast in oven until fork tender. Eggplant should still hold its shape.
5. Remove from oven, allow to cool and add to millet and squash
Put it all together
1. add finely minced peel of preserved lemon, olive oil and salt to taste and toss millet, squash, onions, eggplant and tomatoes together
2. store in airtight containers overnight and enjoy.*

*Overnight is important because the spices from the eggplant become more incorporated with the salad, otherwise it’s a bit dry and you get a mouthful of dry spices on the eggplant, not throughout the dish.

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