Millet is an ancient african staple food, always served soft enough to eat with the fingers. In this recipe, you infuse the grains with spices and aromatics before cooking, for maximum flavor, and the sautéing step also helps keep the grains separate. The brilliant golden millet can be replaced with quicker-cooking whole wheat couscous, or even rice.
Yield: Serves 8
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, julienned (about 1½ cups)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 cup millet
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 8-ounce can “extra crunchy” corn, drained
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 whole Roma tomato, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
In a 2-quart saucepan, with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then sauté the onion over medium heat until very golden and soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute, then add the paprika, black pepper, allspice, and cayenne and cook for a minute more. Wash the millet quickly and drain. Add the millet to the pan and stir, coating the grains and cooking until hot to the touch. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer on low for 20 minutes before checking for doneness. When all the liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender, cover and take the pan off the heat for 10 minutes to steam. Scrape the cooked millet into a bowl and cover, then let cool.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir the corn, bell pepper, tomato, and parsley into the cooled millet mixture, then drizzle the dressing over it and stir to coat. Serve topped with the peanuts.