Millet Panzanella Salad with Asiago Croutons

This is a tasty Millet Panzanella Salad with a healthy twist.  A classic panzanella is a Tuscan bread salad that consists of crispy croutons, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, basil and a vinaigrette dressing.
 I had planned on making this salad with couscous, but decided to try it with millet to make it a more substantial and healthy salad.   Millet is much healthier than couscous and it holds up a little bit better.
The roasted peppers add a nice smoky component and the Asiago croutons lends to the layers of flavors along with adding an amazing texture.
  If you have never tried millet, I highly recommend it!
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 I made this salad with our friends Beto, Jill and Paloma in mind.  They came to stay with us last weekend and we had a nice picnic on the beach.  I served this salad along with four different cheeses, hazelnut cranberry crackers, fuji
apples, raw walnuts and almonds.  Oh and some wine, of course!  There is nothing better than enjoying a meal with friends and family. Top it off with a picnic on the beach and I’m in heaven.  This salad was a hit, so I knew I was ready to share it.  It is just in time for summer.
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 We had a bottle of Rueda but it would go with almost any white wine, sweet or dry.
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Here are a few other takes on a panzanella salad.
The Bojon Gourmet – Gluten Free Summer Panzanella – here
My New Roots – Healthy Colorful Panzanella – here
Cookie + Kate – Spring Panzanella – here
Super Nummy Yo – Asian Panzanella – here
Circa Happy – Panzanella with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing – here
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 Millet Panzanella Salad Recipe:
8 – 10 servings
Millet
  • 1 Cup Dried Millet
  • 2 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube –  unsalted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Salad
  • 1 Container Cherry Tomatoes – sliced in half
  • 1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper – roasted and diced
  • 1 Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper – roasted and diced
  • 1/2 Cup (about a 1/4) Red Onion – Minced
  • 2 Cup Fresh Basil – torn
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese –  finely shredded
Dressing
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
  • 2  Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Croutons
  • 4 Cups Country Bread like Ciabatta – torn
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Asiago Cheese – finely shredded
Instructions:
Millet
Measure the millet and rinse in a fine mesh colander.  Add the millet to a saute pan to toast and stir continually for 4 minutes on medium-low heat.  (Be careful not to let them burn.)
Add the millet to a small saucepan, add the water, bouillon, and salt.   Bring to a boil, then mash up the bouillon.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes, undisturbed, until all the water is absorbed. ( I use a sauce pan with a glass lid so it’s easy to see if the liquid is gone.)
Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.  Dump into a bowl and fluff up with a fork, then let cool completely.
Veggies & Cheese

Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.  Set aside.

Mince the onion, slice the tomatoes in half and shred the cheese with the small holes of the cheese grater.  (shred enough for the croutons as well) Set aside.
Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.
Croutons
You can use day old bread, I used fresh and it worked out nice.

Tear the bread into small pieces.  In a large straight sided pan, add the oil and turn heat to medium-low.  Heat up the oil, then add the bread.  Stir continually until they get crispy. (about 10 minutes)

Add the Asiago and stir until melted and a lightly Golden. (Some Asiago will stick to the pan)
Assembly
When the millet is cooled down, add the the veggies, cheese and dressing.  Mix well, then tear the basil into small pieces and stir them in.
Add the croutons to individual salads to keep them crispy.  If you have leftovers you will want to re-heat the croutons to get them crispy again.

  Millet Panzanella Salad

Health benefits:

Millet is alkaline and it digests easily. It has high levels of tryptophan like turkey, which has calming effects. It is rich in magnesium, which helps to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks. It is high in fiber that helps lower cholesterol and keeps you regular by also hydrating your colon. It is high in anti-oxidants, which may help to prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. Millet also has high protein content. Eat in moderation.

Comments

  1. says

    I love that we are such in sync to one another. I love your take of panzanella salad as millet adds such a great flavour & texture. Why wouldn’t I think of that!!!

    Love it, Steph

    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Pang, you are the cutest! I love that we are in sync too! It is really cool to see all the different takes on this amazing salad and especially love how your is! I’m going to add a link to yours along with the others I included! xOx

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