Time for a cozy meal! I’ll try not to bore you by going on for too long about how sick I am of this weather. I should be grateful for the temperature staying above 0 degrees C for almost the whole winter. It’s just this rain I’m just a teensy bit bored of. Anyhow, it’s a good reason to cook a lovely warming dinner.
Yes, I’ve said I don’t like risotto in the past but this isn’t your traditional risotto. I used millet in place of the traditional rice for a change as I’m always looking for new ingredients to try. While millet is still a staple for a large part of the world- especially in Africa and Eastern Europe- this traditional grain has been relegated pretty much exclusively to birdfeed elsewhere. But, it’s making a comeback and I’m here to encourage you to give it a try! It’s a nutritious, gluten-free grain, high in protein and easily digestible so great for those of us who need a little help in that department.
It’s also very tasty and has a delicious mild, slightly sweet and nutty flavour. I’m looking forward to adding it to my repertoire.
This risotto is rich and comforting without a drop of butter or cream in sight. The millet itself imparts some creaminess when cooked, stirring frequently, like a traditional risotto, and the addition of white beans add to this as they soften up and mingle with the grains while cooking.
To perk up this dish (and us on these grey days!) I stirred in plenty of lemon and topped each bowlful with a swirl of pesto, the ultimate flavour-booster.
- 1T Olive oil
- 1/2 Large Onion
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1C Millet
- 4-5C Vegetable broth
- 1C Cooked White beans
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2T Lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 3-4T Pine nuts, toasted
- 3-4T Basil pesto (homemade or jarred- I made a hempseed pesto inspired by : this recipe
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then the millet and toast, stirring for a further 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the vegetable broth over low heat.
- Add 1/2C vegetable broth to the frying pan, allow to simmer, stirring frequently until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add the white beans, smashing about half with the back of your spoon. . Continue adding the vegetable broth by the 1/2C until you have used about 4C of liquid. This will likely take at least 25 minutes.
- Check the millet for done-ness and if it needs any more cooking continue to add the remaining broth.
- Otherwise, add the lemon zest and juice and salt and pepper to taste. Warm through.
- Divide the risotto between bowls/plates and top with a swirl of pesto, toasted pine nuts and extra lemon zest (optional)
Have you used millet? Any recipes to share with us?