Millet with Tomato and Provencal Herbs (serves 4)
This is a grain so incredibly healthy, after eating it you have to physically restrain yourself from jumping up from the table and going for a 10 mile hike. Kidding aside. It really is an super-energy charged food. They say that in north India in the Punjab they eat a lot of it, and call it “farmers’ food”.
I don’t know how they prepare it there, but certainly not like this. With millet, I don’t think it is really the integral food of anywhere, hence there is no authentic preparation. Apart from maybe China where they make a soup from it, but that recipe doesn’t really do it for me.
So here is a made up kind of thing which uses well-loved flavours to get millet to taste as good as it actually is for you. I had this dish with courgettes in a creamy yoghurt tahini sauce. Again, a bit of a mish-mash of regions and influences, but it goes well with something like this.
Millet with Tomato and Povencal Herbs
1 cup millet
2 tbs olive oil
2 stalks celery
½ red pepper
1 tbs tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil, oregano, thyme
2 roma tomatoes
2 cups water/stock
Salt and pepper
- Place a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and add 1 tbs of the Olive Oil. When it is warm add the millet and stir to toast the grains until it starts to smell nice and nutty. About 5 mins.
- Whilst you are doing this, chop the celery and pepper fine, warm the remaining tablespoon of oil and saute over medium-high until the vegetables soften.
- Then chop the tomatoes, core and seed them and blend them to a puree in a food processor or with an immerson blender.
- Add the tomato paste, another tablespoon water, the herbs and bay leaf to the sauting vegetables. . Stir this mixture to cook the tomato paste for another minute or so.
- Add the millet, stir to encorporate it in the tomato mixture and then add the pureed tomatoes and water. Cover and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes and then take off the heat, place a tea-towel under the lid to absorb some of the steam and leave covered for another 10 minutes, this will ensure the millet comes out fluffy and not clumpy.