Let’s talk about honestly about millet, because the truth is, millet is birdseed. Yeah. I said it. We can wax poetic about various non-wheat grains and seeds as much as we want, but at the end of the day, when I hear the word “millet”, I remember my maternal grandmother filling her birdfeeders. Which isn’t a bad memory, per se, it’s just not evocative of…people food.
I’ve talked about millet here before, but the truth is that it was a side note, an important but unsung contributor. Here millet is front and center. And this is not so much for its flavor or texture, both of which are pleasant, but subtle. Rather, it’s for the fact that millet is one of the best grains (or grain-like seeds, if we’re being particular) of which to cook an enormous pot and eat throughout the week. Generally, I think many of us agree that this is sound advice—to always make more rice, couscous, or farro than is necessary for one meal, so as to have easily reheated leftovers on hand. Millet, though, has been my go to for awhile now—equally as good stirred into the ends of a pot of soup as it is tossed with roasted veggies. For breakfast, millet offers a less-dense option than oatmeal. Lately, I like it tossed in a hot pan with butter and spices, then served with maple-kissed yogurt, dried fruit, and nuts. Louise was here this weekend (these photos were snapped during our breakfast), and we topped ours with pecans. Everything comes together quite quickly, so this is an option for me on non-weekend mornings, too.
Spiced millet breakfast bowl
As you can probably tell, this is a recipe with endless variation possible. For me, that’s what makes it such a workhorse—I just dig out whatever’s in my pantry and have breakfast. It’s worth noting that I think this flavor combination is really particularly good; especially the inclusion of cloves, which I grind up quickly with my mortar and pestle.
You will need
- 1 tablespoon butter
2 cups cooked millet*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped dried figs (this is what I have in my pantry; also figs are my FAVORITE, but you could use dried currants, cranberries, even raisins)
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the millet and spices, tossing to coat and warm through. While millet is heating up, stir a few tablespoons of maple syrup into the yogurt, flavoring to taste (I happen to really like maple, so mine might have a bit more than you’d like).
When the millet is hot, scoop it into bowls. Top each with a big swirl of the maple yogurt, dried figs, and pecans.
If there is leftover yogurt, serve it on the side.
*To cook millet:
In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 cups millet, give a quick stir with a wooden spoon, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until water is mostly absorbed and millet is tender.
After you turn off the heat, keep the lid on the pot, and let steam for 10-15 minutes.