Curried Millet, and Radishes to Love (but maybe not together)

We’ve had a few cold nights lately, and even snow in the mountains above Santa Barbara. But it always seems to bounce back into at least a few warm days. Yesterday was definitely spring – anything other than a t-shirt and shorts was too hot, and the garden was dishing out treasures left and right: the first zucchini of the spring, nearly-ripe fava beans, lettuce, arugula, and six fresh eggs (our banty, Minnie, has laid two eggs in the last week – after a 9-month hiatus).

I’m not typically a radish-loving person. But I’ve seen recipes lately involving radishes, butter, and salt (like this one) that intrigued me. So when I found four perfect radishes in the garden yesterday, I knew exactly what to do with them. I’ve been avoiding dairy (fighting off a bad cold/sore throat), so I just sliced the radishes thinly, drizzled with my local Joelle olive oil and a dusting of salt. The simplest of ingredients, but big on flavor (would have been even better on a fresh baguette!). I think since they were picked so early in the season, they were sweeter and less spicy than usual.

Monday evenings tend to be the night where I have the most time at home to spend cooking, so I try and make a little extra to carry us through the week. One week, I roasted a huge pan of sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions and carrots, and ended up with a lot of leftover vegetables after dinner that night to use for something else later in the week.

I decided to combine them with a grain and the cilantro I have plenty of in the garden. A quick flip through the Moosewood Cookbook found me at the Curried Millet recipe. It comes together fast, and I thought the curry would play off the root vegetables nicely. It would be fine without the vegetables and beans too – or whatever substitutions you want to make!

Curried Millet from Moosewood Restaurant, Cooking for Health

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional – I had some leftover from last summer’s mustard plants)

1/2 c minced onions

3/4 c millet

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne (start with less if you don’t like heat)

1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

1/4 c currants or cranberries

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1 can black beans, drained

2-3 cups chopped roasted potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, onion

Warm the oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat,  add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the millet and stir constantly until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid as been absorbed and the millet is tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the currants and the cilantro, and fluff with a fork. Cover and let sit for 10-15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the millet with the roasted vegetables and beans.