Millet is fast becoming one of our newest favourite grains, and we love it for its versatility. It is easily interchangeable with quinoa for many of your favourite whole grain recipes and is delicious hot or slightly warm. This warm salad is best served shortly after making it, and leftovers can be transformed in the days following by re-heating in a pan with or without melted cheese.
Warm Harvest Millet Pilaf:
1 cup GRAIN Millet
2 cups water
5 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups French green beans, or regular green beans, stemmed a cut into one-inch pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried sumac
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
1/3 cup crumbled feta (optional)
1/2 fresh lemon
Heat the oven to 400F. Toss the butternut squash in 2 tbsp olive oil and lay on a flat baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the squash to ensure even cooking. Roast for 20 more minutes until browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To cook the millet, heat a saucepan on medium-high and add the dry millet. Using a wooden spoon, stir frequently to toast the grains evenly, being careful not to burn the grains. After 3-4 minutes, the millet should smell fragrant. Add the water and cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and once boiling, turn the heat down to low. Cook the millet for 15 minutes, being careful not to lift the lid to check it. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and allow the millet to sit a further 10 minutes, completely covered. After the millet 'rests' for 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
While the millet cooks, combine the green beans with 4-5 cups cold water in a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and once boiling, blanch the green beans for 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water immediately. Set aside to cool.
All of these steps can be done well in advance. 5 minutes or so before ready to serve, combine the millet, green beans, and squash in a saute pan or wok. Add the salt, cumin, sumac, and stir well to combine. Heat through until warm but not hot. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta and a squeeze of lemon. Serve warm or at room temperature.