Millet with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese

This healthy dish uses a wonderful but frequently forgotten ancient grain and pairs it with lightly sautéed asparagus and mushrooms, which are then finished with goat cheese.

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Serves: 4 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: 45 mins

Straight from the Forq Kitchen!
by Jacob Dean


Millet with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese

A while back I tested a recipe that called for a number of so-called “ancient grains”, and among them was millet. The dish wasn’t my favorite, but I did end up falling for millet, a small-grained warm-weather cereal that’s actually produced by a type of tall grass. What was once just an unusual grain I’d never heard of before quickly became one of my favorite foods.

Millet combines the appearance and (to a degree) the texture of toasted couscous, with a nutty flavor that I’d never encountered before. It’s ridiculously good for you, and is high in fiber, iron, vitamin B, and calcium. Best of all, it pairs well with a variety of flavors, but in particular with goat cheese. And, goat cheese pairs well with asparagus, and this is a great time of year for that same vegetable, and thus a dish was born.

Millet is ridiculously good for you, and is high
in fiber, iron, vitamin B, and calcium.

The following recipe calls for you to cook millet with chicken stock. You could cook it with water if you don’t have any stock available, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice, as the broth adds a richness that simply would not be there otherwise. This recipe also asks you to caramelize some red onions, adding a sweetness, prior to briefly sautéing mushrooms and asparagus together with garlic. Both mushrooms and asparagus can be eaten raw, but sautéing them coaxes out some sugars and helps to soften both ingredients. The idea here is to cook them gently, as we want the mushrooms to retain some of their body and we want the asparagus to be cooked but crisp. When your asparagus has turned bright green kill the heat, because that sucker is done.

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First, place a large saucepan over high heat and add two cups of chicken stock. When the stock reaches a rapid boil, stir in one cup of millet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover with a tight lid. Cook the millet until all of the liquid is absorbed, around 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand with the lid on for an additional 10 minutes, after which you should remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Let the millet stand, lidless, for later use.

Next, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the red onion to the pan and stir to coat with oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are very tender and somewhat translucent , around 7 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add the asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan. Mix all of the ingredients together and cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus has turned bright green, around 5 minutes. Add the millet to the pan and mix well so that the vegetables are spread evenly throughout the millet.

Lastly, remove the pan from the heat and drop small pieces of goat cheese evenly over the surface of the millet. Sprinkle the pan with kosher salt , gently fold everything together, and serve immediately.

Directions

Here’s how to make this delicious recipe

In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in millet. Cover the pan with a tight lid and let cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, around 20 minutes. Once liquid is absorbed remove from heat and let stand for an additional 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and set aside.

Millet_Asparagus_4

When the millet is cooked, fluff with a fork

In a large frying pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. When shimmering, add red onion and cook until tender and semi-translucent, around 7 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic to the frying pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is bright green, around 5 minutes.

Millet_Asparagus_5

Add asparagus, mushrooms, and garlic to the frying pan, and cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is bright green

Add the millet to the pan and mix well.

Remove pan from heat. Drop the goat cheese in small pieces over the surface of the millet and vegetables, sprinkle evenly with kosher salt, and gently fold together. Serve immediately.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup millet

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound button mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese

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Who’s Cooking Today

Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean is a freelance food and travel writer, recipe tester, and culinary product reviewer based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The Cook’s Cook Magazine, DCist, Industree, has freelanced as a recipe tester for the New York Times, and has been published by the Washington Post. Jacob has tried over twelve hundred unique beers (he keeps count).
You can find him online at jacobdeanwrites.com, on Twitter as @SchadenJake, and on Facebook as Jacob Dean Writes.

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