I first had this unusual salad at an outdoor summer party at the home of a friend; not only did I love it, but I was impressed with the enthusiasm with which other guests ate it. Bland but nutritious millet, after all, is not a grain that normally causes excitement. Other vegetables can be substituted for the ones given here, but fresh dill and a strong dressing are musts.
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
- 1 cup raw millet
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup diced yellow summer squash
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
- 1/2 cup sliced radishes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 2 to 3 scallions, minced
- 1/3 cup good-quality vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds, optional
- Curly parsley and halved cherry tomatoes for garnish
Spray a non-stick skillet lightly with cooking oil spray. Add the millet and toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the grain smells nutty. Pour in 2 1/2 cups of water and stir in the salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and let cool.
Steam the snow peas very briefly, just until bright green, then rinse with cool water and drain.
Combine the cooled millet with the snow peas in a large mixing bowl along with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Toss gently but thoroughly and let the salad stand, covered, for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Just before serving, stir in the cherry tomatoes and nuts or seeds. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish the edge, alternating halved cherry tomatoes with sprigs of curly parsley.
- Here are more recipes for grain salads.