Spring Green Millet Salad with Tangerine Mint Vinaigrette

This is such a pretty and delightful Spring Green Millet Salad!  It has a fresh quality that is absolutely intoxicating and it is overflowing with flavor thanks to the vinaigrette.  It gets its crunchiness from the veggies, its softness from the mozzarella and millet, and it is also bursting with aromatic herbs.  It’s hearty enough to be a meal yet it’s light enough that it won’t weigh you down.  I like to serve it with some crusty bread and wine.

Spring Green Millet Salad This last week was packed full of adventure and fun.  My mom came out for another short visit while her boyfriend Clyde was surfing in Mexico.  We had tasty food including this salad, good wine and inspiring conversations out on our deck.  We went for an awesome bike ride in Monterey along the ocean and then stopped for some iced tea at a cute little tea shop called “Quock Mui Tea Room.”  They had tables outside in a little courtyard with a water fountain and succulents growing out of the walls.  We rode a lot farther than intended so we decided to go out to eat at our favorite restaurant, Ella’s at the Airport.

Spring Green Millet Salad My mom left early Saturday morning and I drove up to Oakland to take photos of Beto’s two-year creek restoration project.  He received a grant to fix up a creek and then inspired some local teens and neighbors to work on the project.  The creek was originally full of ivy, trash and shopping carts.  In the beginning, Beto had the water tested in the stream and they found a high ammonia content, most likely from urine.  Ewww.  With the clean up and with some time the ammonia level in the creek is now at a normal level.

Millet-Salads Beto is all about native plants so they dug up all of the non-native plants and they planted beautiful native plants.  It looks amazing!  Not only is it awesome that he is restoring this creek, but that the teenagers are getting educated on restoration, native plants and horticulture.

When we were finished for the day, we drove back to Beto’s house and then Jill and I snuck off to do a little wine tasting at a wine shop called K & L Wine Merchants.  We lucked out because we were able to taste a number of extraordinary French wines from Franck Millet Sancerre straight from the winemakers Franck and Betty Millet.  They have sold their wine to this shop for 21 years and this was the first time they had been there in person.  Every single one of their wines was incredible!  When Jill and I arrived back to their house, we all decided to walk to downtown Palo Alto for some incredible pizza at La Strada and then we went to see Paloma’s favorite art sculpture.  This was going to be the first time that I have stayed the night at their house and Paloma was excited because we were going to have a slumber party.

Green-Millet-Salad I served this salad with a White Rioja but it would also be great with a Cava, Sauvignon Blanc or a Rose.

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Spring Green Millet Salad Recipe:

6 – 8 servings

  • 1 Cup Dried Millet – 2 cups cooked – recipe below
  • Tangerine Champagne Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 2 Cups Baby Arugula
  • 1/2 Cup Pink Radishes – thinly sliced
  • 1/2  Fennel Bulb – about 1 cup – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Fennel Stalks – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2  Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas – thawed
  • 2 – Persian Cucumbers – about 1  Cup – thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil – chiffonade or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chives – minced
  • 1 Container Fresh Mozzarella – thinly sliced – optional
Optional garnishes:
  • Pistachio – salted/shelled – roughly chopped
  • Chive Flowers
  • Fennel Fronds – to taste
  • Mint Leaves – to taste
  • Pecorino – finely grated
Millet
  • 1 Cup Dried Millet
  • 2 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube –  unsalted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Vinaigrette
  • 2/3 Cup Tangerine Juice – (about 5 – 6 ) – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoon Tangerine Zest (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Mint – – minced
  • 2 Shallots or 1/4 Cup – minced
  • 2 Small Cloves Garlic or 2 Teaspoons – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Instructions:
Millet
Measure the millet and rinse in a fine mesh colander.
Add the millet , water, bouillon, and salt to a small saucepan.  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 saucepan 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.
Vinaigrette

Add mustard, tangerine juice, zest, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk together.  Next whisk in the champagne vinegar, then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Stir in the garlic and shallots.

Assemble

Mix everything in a large bowl except for the dressing.  Dress individual salads according to taste.

Spring Green Millet Salad Health benefits:

 Millet is alkaline and is easily digested. It has high levels of tryptophan like turkey, which causes 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 antioxidants, which may help to prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes.  Millet also has high protein content.  Eat in moderation.

Tangerines are a type of mandarin orange.  They are a valuable source of flavonoid antioxidants that are several times higher than oranges and have even more vitamin A and iron.  The vitamin A helps with immune function, vision and reproductive health.  As with all citrus, they are very rich in vitamin C that stimulates the production of collagen and helps keeps your skin supple as well as stimulating cell regeneration in the body.  Antioxidants are found in high concentrations in the rind of tangerines, which helps fight off free radicals keeping the body’s cells healthy while purifying the blood and remove toxins. They contain natural soluble and insoluble fiber that improves digestion and restricts the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which helps cut the risk of obesity and reduce inflammation.  Tangerine fruit has been used effectively against skin diseases and arthritis.  They also help to absorb iron from food into the body.

Easy Crostini

A crostini is a sliced bread lightly oiled then toasted or grilled until it becomes crispy.  These Easy Crostini are fast and easy to make for all sorts of appetizers, like this “Pear and Coconut Gouda Crostini“.   Or to accompany cheese, soups, salads and pasta dishes.

Easy Crostini

 Crostini means “little toast” and are usually made with an Italian ciabatta bread and are often served with cheese, meats and wine.  The Italian peasants would use the crostini in place of a plate for there meats.

Crostini

Easy Crostini Recipe:

12 Slices

  • Approx. 12 Slices of Italian Ciabatta or French Bread
  • Approx. 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions:

Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.

Place slices on to a baking sheet and coat both sides with olive oil.

Place on the top shelf of the oven and broil for 1 – 2 minutes then flip them over and broil for about 1 more minute.  Make sure and watch close, they can burn fast.

I usually put the timer on for 1 minute and check then put on for 1 more while watching.  They cook faster on the 2nd side because they are already hot.