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Colorado Proud's recipe of the month: Millet Chopped Salad

 

Last updated 3/15/2022 at 2:48pm | View PDF

Enhancing salads with millet makes a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.  Millet is a grain that thrives in Colorado. Often overlooked in other states, this tiny seed makes a big impact on our economy. Colorado is the No. 1 producer of millet in the country, growing about 6.4 million bushels annually and earning about $23 million from the crop. It is considered an heirloom grain with high nutritional value. Millet also provides essential amino acids and has a high calcium and protein content, as well as being gluten free. 

Colorado grows over half of the millet sold in the United States. Whether for the gluten free food market, the bread and grain industry, or the bird seed and animal feed industry, Colorado›s producers provide many opportunities for consumers to enjoy millet. Millet, which is grown primarily in eastern and northeastern Colorado, does well in Colorado›s tough climate. It tolerates high pH levels and low organic matter in soils and grows well during our warm days and cool nights. Plus, it's drought-tolerant and uses a low amount of water during the planting and growth seasons.

Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different ag commodity to highlight the variety and quality of products grown and raised in the state. For March, Chef Jason Morse of 5280 Culinary uses Colorado millet as part of a flavorful dish  which is perfect for trying something new this spring.

Chef Jason says, "Millet is such an amazing heirloom grain. Packed with protein, gluten free and easy on your glycemic index, this grain is a win-win-win! Today we will use millet in a "chopped" salad, making this a power packed bowl of goodness. "  Happy cooking!

Colorado Millet Chopped Salad

Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes, with 10 minutes of cooling time. 

Ingredients:

1 cup millet, hulled 

2 cups water or vegetable stock

1 cup cucumber, washed and diced

1 cup grape tomatoes, washed and halved

1 ½ mini peppers, washed and cut into rings

1 cup of fresh pearls mozzarella

½ cup vinaigrette dressing,  lemon juice, or your choice of dressing)

½ cup pistachios, roasted/salted, rough chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, rough chopped

Preparation Directions:

Wash all tools prior to use

Clean and sanitize all cutting boards and prep surfaces prior to use

Read all manufacturer's instructions before using grills, ranges, ovens and any cooking tools

Cooking Directions:

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat

Add 1 cup of dried millet and lightly toast millet until you start to smell nuttiness and hear crackling

Remove from heat, continue to stir for 2 minutes or until crackling stops

Return to heat and add water/stock

Cook for approx. 10-15 minutes or until tender 

Remove from the heat and carefully fluff with fork

Cover with foil and allow to steam for 10 minutes

Remove foil and fluff with fork

Place onto cooking sheet pan in a shallow layer

Cool in the fridge for 10 minutes or until chilled

Place chilled millet into a large mixing bowl

Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, olive tapenade and mozzarella

Drizzle dressing over this mixture and lightly mix to combine

Dressing notes:  Salad should not be tossed until right before eating or millet will absorb dressing and become gummy

Divide into 4 bowls and garnish with pistachios and chopped parsley

If desired, drizzle each salad with another 1 tbsp of dressing

Devour!

This yummy dish pairs well with a Gewürztraminer from Continental Divide Winery. If you are searching for an alcohol-free beverage to complement this recipe, try a kombucha from NEKTR. Kombucha in Colorado Springs. For more information on wine, visit Colorado Wine.

Visit ColoradoProud.org for a complete list of recipes.

Colorado Proud is a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture that promotes food and agricultural products grown, raised or made in Colorado. The program's 2,900 members include growers, processors, schools, restaurants and retailers statewide.

 

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