Do you know pearl millet? It’s a gluten-free grain, and apparently grown in Asia (predominantly India) and Africa (predominantly Nigeria), known for its nutritional value, particularly iron, potassium and zink. Pearl millet is related to sorghum, which I love using in baked goods. However, I am no fan of pearl millet in baked goods, I think you can always taste it out, but I do like eating it as a replacement for couscous in salad. I guess people with thyroid issues shouldn’t be eating a lot of millet (says Wikipedia), just so you’re aware. Also, I have tried different brands of millet, and have found that there are differences. If you are in Germany and care to hear, my favourite pearl millet is from the Alnatura brand (sold at Alnatura and at DM).I heard often that pearl millet is also very suitable for making risotto, also known as millotto or millet risotto. It was high on my list of things to try, and after it was mentioned again and again on the internet this week, I decided to use up the last of my asparagus broth and the remaining asparagus sprigs in my fridge. See, when I went gluten-free, I was struck by a mysterious compulsion which causes me to buy a huge amount of dry foods. They then hang out in my kitchen drawers waiting to be consumed. Every time I open them drawers, something will tumble out and onto my head. Whenever we have guests over, I remove everything I will need from the drawers prior to their arrival. This way I don’t need to embarass myself. Anyway, I (and a lot of other celiacs I know) am always either in a stage of trying to get rid of the supplies I have stocked up on, or in a stage of stocking up on my supplies. It’s weird, but I guess also normal behavior for someone who has to eat gluten-free and cannot buy everything at all stores all the time. I am currently in a phase of eating up the contents of my kitchen drawers bit by bit and so the idea of using millet was very welcome!
So millotto for dinner it was. This dish really surprised me! It was really fast to make, no fuss involved and really, really delicious! I’ll be eating this dish more often throughout the summer, I’m thinking with zucchini, with mushrooms… Yum! It makes a fantastic weekday-dinner!
Ingredients (for two hungry people)
1 tsp butter (or vegetable oil)
one medium onion, chopped
asparagus broth (about three cups, you can learn how to make it here)
250g white asparagus, peeled and cut into small pieces
250g green asparagus, cut into small pieces
¾ cup millett
a piece of parmesan rind
vegetable broth powder
dry white wine (about one cup)
1 tbsp whipping cream (optional)
parmigiano(grated, for garnish)
Heat butter in a medium-sized pot, add the onions and fry for about two minutes until glazed. Add the millet and all of the asparagus pieces, save the heads. Add the parmesan rind. Cover with a bit of asparagus broth and a bit of white wine and boil (stirring occasionally) until the liquid has evaporated. Repeat this step several times, adding the vegetable broth powder and the asparagus heads after about twelve minutes. Proceed to cook for another five minutes, until the millet is cooked and your millotto is both creamy and frothy. Add the chopped parsley and the whipping cream with the last bit of broth/wine and cook for another minute, stirring often. Turn off your stove, remove the parmigiano rind. Serve Millotto while still hot, garnished with grated parmigiano. Accompany with a glass of dry white wine.