If you're a fan of couscous, then you might like this healthy summer vegetable whole-grain pilaf. Millet is a grain that cooks up nice and dry like couscous but with a chewier texture. Many historians point to its origins in China, where millet was used to make flour for noodles. Unlike many whole grains, millet cooks quickly, in 20 minutes or less.
The dressing for this recipe has a touch of honey in it; it's not cloying or candy-like in its flavors as honey-based dressings can sometimes become. Instead, it delivers a subtle sweetness to the pilaf that doesn't mask the naturally smoky flavor of the grilled vegetables.
- 1 quart water
- 2 Cups millet
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Juice of 2 Valencia oranges
- 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1/2 Cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1 Cup basil leaves, torn
Preheat a gas grill or cast-iron grill pan on medium-high heat.
In a medium-sized pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the millet and cinnamon stick, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the water has evaporated and the grains are fluffy, about 20 minutes.
Coat the eggplant, zucchini, and onion in the grapeseed oil and place on the grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, orange juice, and olive oil to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Dice the grilled vegetables once they have cooled and transfer to the bowl with the dressing. Add the millet, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, and basil and toss thoroughly to combine.