When I was growing up, my mother was a big fan of millet. She made a lot of millet loaf, which I would always smother in BBQ sauce. Years later, I would see millet become more popular in the U.S. due to the rise of the gluten free movement. One could buy Millet Tots in the frozen case or purchase millet flour in the baking aisle. Today, millet may still seem like quinoa’s little sister in the gluten free universe, but it does offer a nice alternative. It’s slightly nutty, and has a fair amount of vitamins, minerals and protein.
Today’s recipe works as a one skillet meal or as a hearty side dish. While I note that the sliced green olives are optional, I question that decision! I feel like they do bring out all the flavors in this meal, but they aren’t necessary to fully enjoy it. Whether you olive or not, this dish is quite delicious and easy to make.
Herbed White Bean and Asparagus Millet
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup millet
1 tsp orange zest
3 ½ cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
¼ cup orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
15.5 ounce can of white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh asparagus, cut on a bias
Sliced green olives, to taste – optional
1. In a large skillet, add olive oil, onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for ~5 minutes over medium-low heat, then add the millet. Sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the orange zest and the broth—stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cover for 20-25 minutes or until 95% of the liquid is absorbed and the millet is cooked through.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the olives, if using) and stir to combine. Cover with lid, and simmer over low heat for ~5 minutes. Remove the lid, taste and adjust seasonings, if needed (salt? lemon juice?). Top with sliced olives and serve immediately.