Man has it been hot this week. What happened to nice and cool 70′s? Hmmm… this jump straight to upper 80′s was definitely not approved by me. 70′s equal jeans and a comfy top or tee. 80′s equal shorts and frizzy hair. Plus, the pool isn’t open here yet, so seriously 80′s take a hike.
But one thing that does make me happy now that warmer weather is here… is grilling. Now having said that of course, the day I made this super springy meal it was raining. Because it is Spring (even if mother nature seems confused on the temperature). And while I like to think I am a dedicated foodie I’m not dedicated enough to stand outside in the rain over asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Now if a cookie was involved you bet I’d be out there in a downpour. So I guess that leads us to our first point of this post. This meal can easily be prepared in a grill pan – as I did. If you don’t have a grill or a grill pan, you can get away with roasting in the good ole oven. I would follow the same length of time as instructed in the recipe for the asparagus, but set the oven to 425 degrees, flipping halfway and cooking until just tender. For the cherry tomatoes the best way to get the char is under the broiler with a close eye and just a few minutes of time.
Another quick tip, when using the grill if you opt for bamboo skewers make sure to soak them ahead of time. I usually place however many I need in a 9×13 baking dish and cover the skewers with water. They need a good 20 minutes so that they do not burn when on the grill.
Okay, don’t you agree that this is a springy dish? Well, anything with asparagus kind of immediately qualifies doesn’t it? But still…
What I love about seasonal spring dishes is their freshness. After all those filling and heavier meals during winter now comes light and fresh ones. And this meal is no exception. The first time I made this I remember saying to Logan after eating that I felt lighter. I mean how is that possible after eating, clearly you are heavier. But this recipe is such a feel good dish as it’s light, flavorful, healthful and only has a few whole ingredients. It doesn’t get much simpler or better than that really.
I’m kind of surprised that this meal worked on it’s first go around, as it was the first time I had ever made millet. I had been wanting to try millet and even had some hanging around the house just waiting to be used. On a side note, I am awful at that. I get carried away at Whole Foods and come home with random grains and flours from their bulk section. Millet happened to be one of those. And as asparagus hit the market it kind of just made sense to throw them together. On another side note, that’s how I cook. “It just made sense.” The cherry tomatoes came about as a way to add moisture so that the dish wasn’t too dry from having just a grain and a vegetable that’s not overly moist. I’m kind of picky on texture and moisture, so that’s where the blistered cherry tomatoes came from. They also give it a great pop of flavor. And whenever you can the best form of a diet is to eat the rainbow, unless that’s a diet of sprinkles, they don’t count. Sorry.
If you are a millet newbie like I was…
Millet: is a little round seed that has a subtle corn-like flavor. It’s also gluten free and easier to digest compared to other grains which is great for sensitive tummies. It can be made sweet or savory and can be fluffy like quinoa or rice, or creamy like polenta, depending on how you prepare it.
So have you had millet before?
I’m so glad I finally had a go with it because I am now hooked. Plus it goes perfectly with a little lemon juice, as it’s used in this recipe to give it a nice freshness. You could even give it a good hit of fresh cracked pepper and make it a lemon pepper millet…mmm yum!
But as is being paired with slightly tender grilled asparagus and topped with blistered tomatoes that burst in your mouth, it’s refreshingly delicious. Honestly, go make this. It’s spring on your plate and in your belly.
- 1 cup millet
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
- 1 bundle asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
- For the millet:
- In a medium sauce pan, over medium-high heat, toast the millet until lightly golden and nutty in fragrance. Approximately 4-5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water (careful it will splish splash) and bring to a light boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes covered. Remove lid, fluff millet and add fresh lemon juice. Stir to incorporate add salt and pepper as needed.
- For the vegetables:
- Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Skewer cherry tomatoes. Lightly brush tomatoes and asparagus with garlic olive oil. Place skewered tomatoes and asparagus on grill/grill pan. Grill tomatoes until blistered approximately 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway. Grill asparagus until just tender, approximately 10 minutes, again flipping halfway.
- To serve, layer plate with lemon millet, asparagus and blistered tomatoes. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, salt and pepper (if desired). Serve immediately.