A substantial summer salad
Millet is a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain with a delicious nutty flavour. Here it is cooked rather like bulgur wheat or quinoa, as the substantial base of a light summer salad.
For more on millet, read Jenny’s latest instalment of With the grain
200g millet seeds
4 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
4 ripe figs
2 tsp honey
2 sprigs of thyme
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 large bunch of dill, roughly chopped
About 20 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 spring onions, finely sliced
100g young goat’s cheese, cut into small chunks
Preheat the oven to 200C. Begin by roasting the millet in a dry saucepan over a medium heat, stirring all the time until it smells really toasty. Add 500ml water and 1 tsp salt and bring the pan up to the boil, before turning down to a simmer and covering with a lid. Simmer for about 15-20 mins—until the water has been absorbed—and then remove from the heat, leaving the lid on so that the millet continues to steam.
Use a fork to fluff up the millet and add the olive oil, lemon juice and some black pepper. Set aside to cool. While the millet is cooling you can roast the hazelnuts for about 5 mins, until golden and smelling really nutty.
Cut the figs into quarters and place in a small oven-proof dish, drizzle with the honey and lay over the sprigs of thyme. Place in the oven for about 10 mins for the figs to soften and the flavours to come alive.
Halve the cucumber lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon (freeze these with water in ice cube trays—perfect for a G&T at a later date). Dice the cucumber.
Place the millet on a large serving platter and toss in the cucumber, herbs and spring onions. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Now sprinkle on the nuts, figs and cheese, drizzle over any fig and honey juices and serve at room temperature.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler