Cooking tips/notes: This is a very forgiving recipe. Exact measurements for each main ingredient are not critical. Millet is a staple grain of Niger and can be found in the bulk section of some grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill is a brand that also packages it. You’ll see that I suggest dressing the cooked millet with some of the vinaigrette. Any starch absorbs flavor more readily when it’s still warm. I like making this salad with collard greens, but any hearty winter green (mustard, turnip) could be used. Canned black-eyed peas are fine! Just drain them first. This salad can be served warm or chilled. Save the leftover vinaigrette, especially if you plan to serve the salad chilled. Dress with a little extra, right before serving.
Ingredients for Vinaigrette:
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredients for Salad:
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 cups water
1 cup dry millet
1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 bunch collards, stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces, and washed (but not dried)
2 ½ cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 2 15.5-ounce cans, drained)
Additional kosher salt and ground black pepper, for seasoning
To make vinaigrette, whisk together white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Then whisk in extra-virgin olive oil. Set aside.
To cook millet, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and millet. Reduce heat to medium low and cover pot with lid. Allow millet to simmer until all water is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and “fluff” cooked millet with a fork. Add warm millet to a large bowl and toss with ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat canola or grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Add diced yellow onion and sauté until light golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté for another minute, until garlic is very fragrant. Add collard greens, with water still clinging, to skillet. Stir everything together, cover, lower heat, and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or so. If pan seems to get too dry during cooking, add a few tablespoons of water, a little at a time.
When collards are tender, add mixture to millet. Then add black-eyed peas and toss everything together.
Dress with remaining vinaigrette, a little at a time. (You might not need it all. Save the leftover vinaigrette if serving the salad chilled. Add a little more to chilled salad, right before serving.)
Season with additional kosher salt and ground black pepper, if desired.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo: Traci Barr