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Balsamic Millet with Cherries, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

In this simple, hearty salad, millet is the perfect base to let sweet cherries, nutty walnuts, and creamy goat cheese shine.
Servings: 6 as a side
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup millet
  • ¾ cup walnut pieces (or about 1 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped)
  • ¾ cup dried cherries
  • 1 and ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 30 basil leaves
  • 3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of water and the salt. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place a dry skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the millet, and toast, stirring frequently, until the millet gives off a nutty aroma (I think it starts to smell like popcorn). Pour the toasted millet into the boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Place a dry skillet back over medium heat. Add the walnut pieces to the skillet and toast, stirring frequently, until the walnuts become fragrant. In a large bowl combine the millet, walnut pieces, dried cherries, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until evenly combined.
  • Just before serving, tear the basil leaves into pieces and sprinkle them over the salad. Add the goat cheese and fold gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

Millet is a tender grain with a nutty flavor and texture that I find to somewhere in the realm of couscous or quinoa. Make sure you get millet that is labeled "hulled" which indicates that the outer coating of the grain has been removed. I use Bob's Red Mill.
Make Ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, preferably before the basil and goat cheese have been added. Just before serving, add an extra 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (the millet will have absorbed much of it overnight), the basil and goat cheese.