This salad has been a big hit in our house lately. While one of our best friends, Pam, was visiting us in Berlin, I made this several times during her stay. She liked it so much that she requested the recipe – so now, whenever I prepare it, I lovingly think of her.
Millet, a seed that is typically associated with bird food, is no longer “for the birds.” Millet is gluten-free, and has a sweet, nutty flavor that is enhanced by lightly toasting it in a dry pan before cooking it. It cooks quickly, in just 15 minutes. One cup of uncooked millet yields a little over 3 cups cooked. Millet contains more fiber than brown rice! It is also high in iron and magnesium, easy to digest, and is alkalizing to the body, which is beneficial for the typical, acidic Western diet.
I also prepared this salad with lycopene-rich tomatoes, and Omega 3-rich flaxseed oil, both of which are known to have anti-aging effects on the body. The crunch of the cucumber is met with a bit of creaminess from the feta cheese, all of which are slicked in a sharp lemon-dill dressing.
Pammy’s Millet Salad
Serves about 6
- 1 cup millet
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 English cucumber, cut into quarter rounds
- 4 ounces feta cheese, diced
- 3 small scallions, roughly minced
- juice of 2 medium lemons, including the pulp, seeds discarded
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for cooking millet
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh dill, minced or 1 – 1½ tablespoons dried
Start by cooking the millet. To cook the millet, place the millet into a dry sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Toast the millet until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn it. I find that the millet doesn’t typically change in color, but rather becomes fragrant, which enhances its flavor. Once this happens, add the water or broth and a pinch of salt. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce heat, and allow the millet to simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and fluff with a fork. Allow the millet to cool completely to room temperature so that it doesn’t cook or discolor the fresh herbs or vegetables.
Once the millet has come to room temperature, add it to a large mixing bowl. Then, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.