Saturday, September 22, 2012

Not Just For Birds! Lemon Dill Millet Fritters

Let's talk about millet! If you're not gluten-free, into alternative grains, or just plain C-H-E-A-P, you probably haven't eaten it. You might have purchased some in a large bag however, and poured it into a big dish on your deck for the enjoyment of the birds in your neck of the woods. Because millet is bird food. BUT OH SO MUCH MORE!

Close-up with yogurt

Seriously, while I can't go on and on about how tasty millet is, because to me it doesn't taste like much, it has definitely become a versatile and useful ingredient in our household, mostly since I became a parent. Where once upon a time it only appeared in Sadie's Super Baby Porridge, however, now it makes its way into our granola (I just throw in a handful of raw millet to add some crunch), it's often the primary grain in our alterna-bread and vegan/GF pancake recipes, and most recently it's presented itself in veggie-burger form. And that's why we're here. Because millet makes quite a nice little patty. But I rather dislike the word patty, and even though these are delicious they're not sturdy enough to accurately be called "burgers" - I don't want to mislead anyone here - so I've settled on fritters. But, you know, the kind of fritters that don't have any eggs or flour and aren't deep fried. Healthy fritters. Made with bird food millet.

I made these earlier in the summer when there were beautiful, fragrant young leeks available and dill was growing like a weed everywhere. Depending on where you live, you could still probably get some fresh local leeks and dill (and summer squash) to make these happen, but you'd better hurry. In Minneapolis, it's gotten super cold super fast. Pumpkins and apples were taking over the whole farmer's market this morning.

leeks!dill!in which your food processor may come in handycast iron skillet GOfry 'em updinner is served

You'll probably need a food processor to make the actual fritters. Some fine chopping might do the job, but I'm not sure they'd hold up with a less smooth texture. If you don't have a food processor and are still interested in this combination of ingredients, however, the cooked millet + sautéed vegetable mixture is delicious and could be served as is (i.e. not pattied, not frittered), hot or lukewarm. Beckett loved it.

Lemon-Dill Millet Fritters
Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup millet
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 small leeks, or 1 large one (1 lb), thinly sliced and well-rinsed
2-3 zucchini or other summer squash (1.5 lbs), finely chopped
Large handful dill (~half a grocery store bunch, or 1/2 cup loosely packed), chopped
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
4 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter), divided

Rinse millet in a fine mesh strainer before placing it in a medium pot. Cover with 2 cups water and add 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then turn down heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter in a skillet. Add leeks, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and sauté over medium heat, stirring every couple minutes, until soft and fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Add zucchini and lemon zest and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until soft. Remove from heat. Stir in dill and lemon juice. Wipe down the skillet but keep it out for frying the fritters. 

Put vegetable mixture into food processor and pulse a few times. Add cooked millet and pulse until just mixed - it will have the consistency of thick hummus. Form mixture into patties. Heat oil in the skillet - 1 tablespoon at a time - over medium heat and lightly sauté patties for about 3-4 minutes per side. As I mentioned before getting to the recipe, these aren't the sturdiest, so flip and remove from pan gingerly. (They will be worth the care, as they are as attractive as they are pretty when they're intact!)

I topped mine with some plain yogurt and garnished them with some more dill.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I've used Millet before. I feel like I'v almost bought it and then put it back! But as far as I can see your fritters are vegan so we'll give it a try! We've been meaning to branch out our grains lately anyway. Thanks for the recipe!!