Millet and Vegetable Pilaf with Almond-Orange Sauce

Adapted from: Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Sautéing the millet before simmering gives it a nuttier, more interesting flavor. The light coating of oil or butter keeps each grain distinct, yielding a fluffy result. The vegetables are added at different times to accommodate their varying cooking requirements, Attention to such details rewards you with a perfectly textured pilaf.

The quantities of vegetables in this recipe are approximate, so don't panic and run to the store if you don't have these exact amounts.

NOTE: Make the sauce while the pilaf cooks.

2 tablespoons canola or almond oil, or butter
3 medium leeks, or 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups millet
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups boiling water
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup minced almonds, lightly toasted
Almond-Orange Sauce (recipe follows)
  1. Heat the oil or melt the butter in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks or onions and mushrooms, and sautÚ for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks or onions are very soft.
  3. Add salt, millet, and garlic, and stir until the millet is coated with the juices from the leeks/onions and mushrooms. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the boiling water, cover, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Leave it for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots and green beans. (Don't mix them in„simply lay them on top.) Cover again, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. (Make the Almond-Orange Sauce during this time.)
  6. Remove the pilaf from the heat, uncover, and fluff the millet with a fork, mixing in the carrots and green beans at the same time. Serve hot, topped with warm or room temperature Almond-Orange Sauce and a sprinkling of minced, toasted almonds.

Adapted from: Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Yield: About 2 cups

Orange, almond, and ginger delicately mingle in this sauce. It's good enough to eat with a spoon all by itself, but it's especially good on millet pilaf. (Also try it on grilled tofu! Dee-licious!)

If you can't find almond butter in the store, make some by grinding toasted or raw almonds to a paste in a blender.

NOTE: Grate the orange zest before squeezing the orange.

1 cup almond butter
1/3 cup boiling water
2/3 cup orange juice (fresh, if possible)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Salt to taste, if desired

  1. Place the almond butter in a medium-small bowl.
  2. Add boiling water, and carefully mash with a spoon until the mixture is uniform.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste to decide if it needs salt.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature over hot pilaf.