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Easy Millet Salad with Parsley and Mint

Despite its humble look, this millet salad with parsley and mint is full of flavor and texture. It’s a simple side dish, ready in just ten minutes, and easy to customize as a salad. Add some protein to it and make it the main event or serve it with meat, chicken, or vegetable curry. This salad is also a great meal prep item: make more of it as it will store well in the fridge.

Since I stopped eating couscous, rice, and quinoa because of their lectin content, millet has been my first choice for grain salads. Millet is a gluten-free and lectin-free ancient grain, the same as sorghum, fonio, and teff. More about these four gut-healthy grains in this article:

Millet grain is great to replace other grains as side dishes or in salads and make porridge and polenta.

Cooking millet for salads

The most challenging part of this salad is to cook millet that is fluffy and perfect for a salad. Millet can be cooked in so many ways, depending on how you want to use it, but for salads, we don’t want mushy, clumpy, or sticky millet. So far, for me, the best method to cook millet for salads is in a pressure cooker.

How to pressure cook fluffy millet

Rinse well and drain one cup of millet. Add it to the pressure cooker, top with two cups of water, and pressure cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, and don’t remove the cover for at least 30 minutes, as the grains will continue to cook with the residual heat and steam.

After you remove the cover, fluff the millet with a fork, and let it cool completely before you mix it with the rest of the ingredients. This is the case if you make a cold salad, but you can also use the warm millet to make a warm salad, like millet with roasted vegetables.

As there are so many types of pressure cookers in the world, you might have to experiment with timings. Maybe your pressure cooker requires one extra minute. As per the pressure, I cook this millet in a Tefal stovetop pressure cooker, with the vegetable setting, which is the lower pressure setting. But I also cooked it in a fully manual pressure cooker, and I used the same time.

When I lived in the US, I used to cook my millet in an Instant Pot, on high pressure, for 11 minutes. But that will give you a softer millet. I think anywhere between 8 minutes and 10 minutes, depending on the pressure cooker, will give you a fluffy millet. I did try 10 minutes in this Tefal pressure cooker, and the millet came out mushy and clumpy.

Fluffy millet

Herbs to use in this millet salad: parsley, mint, chives

Parsley is a nutrient-dense herb, extremely versatile, and easy to add to your diet.

It is particularly rich in Vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone health, and a great source of vitamins A and C, folate and B vitamins, as well as flavonoids and minerals. Parsley helps boost your immunity, and it has been proven that it has a positive impact on heart, kidney, and liver health. It can also support healthier blood sugar levels.

Add parsley to your diet whenever you can; not only does it add tons of flavor, but it makes your meals more nutritious.

Fresh parsley

Due to its strong and complex flavors, mint is difficult to have in big quantities, but this salad can take quite a lot. In fact, the whole flavor profile of this salad is based on the combination between lots of parsley and mint.

Mint is well known for helping relieve digestive problems like upset stomach, bloating, and indigestion. But most of all, mint is a delicious and healthy addition to any diet.

Chives are from the same family as garlic and onions and have similar benefits. I love chives because of their milder taste. It can replace both garlic and onion but in a more gentle way.

If you can’t find fresh chives, you can replace them with scallions or green onions, or even red onions, finely sliced. To remove some of the strength of onions, soak them in iced water for 10-15 minutes before using. Drain and dry well before use.

Fresh mint
Fresh chives

Spices and flavors for this easy millet salad with parsley and mint

The spices I use for this salad are:

  • ground cumin
  • allspice
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • lemon zest

All of these are essential for the specific taste of this salad, reminiscent of tabbouleh salad, which I used to love so much.

And, of course, douse everything very well in the best extra virgin olive oil you can get and fresh lemon juice.

Optional add-ons

If available, try adding pomegranate arils to this salad. Not only do you add some color and a refreshing sweet and sour taste, but pomegranates are a nutritional powerhouse.

Olives can be an option if you love them. I often add them to this type of salad.

If you want to make this simple salad a main dish, add some chicken to it, and that’s lunch or dinner.

millet salad with pomegranates
Millet Salad with Pomegranates

More recipes using the millet grain

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Easy Millet Salad with Parsley and Mint

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Despite its humble look, this millet salad with parsley and mint is full of flavor and texture. It's a simple side dish, ready in just ten minutes, and easy to customize as a salad. Add some protein to it and make it the main event or serve it with meat, chicken, or vegetable stew. This salad is also a great meal prep item: make more of it as it will store well in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MILLET:
  • 1 cup raw millet
  • 2 cup water
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives (scallions or even red onion can be used)
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Optional: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils

Instructions

1

MAKE THE MILLET:

2

It's best to make the millet early, so it has time to cool. Rinse well and drain one cup of millet. Add it to your pressure cooker, top with two cups of water, close the lid, and pressure cook for 8 minutes (time might vary depending on the type of pressure cooker you are using).

3

Let the pressure release naturally and don't open the lid for another at least 30 minutes. The millet will continue to soften with the residual steam and heat.

4

MAKE THE SALAD:

5

Mix the cold millet with the rest of the ingredients and season, adjusting salt, pepper, lemon, and olive oil to your taste.

6

I love to sprinkle some sea salt flakes on top.

7

When you have access to fresh pomegranates, add some to this salad.

8

You can make it in advance, cover and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat.

Notes

You can serve this salad as a side dish or add some protein to it and make it a main dish.

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