Please forgive me the long period of silence but now is the first time in two weeks that I’m touching the keyboard of my computer. It’s been an eventful time; four-hour long drives and trying to sleep on the backseat, a rushed but lovely walk in the neighborhood of elderflowers, freezing during a football game, sleeping for two hours, going to London, covering distances of twenty kilometers on a daily basis, walking out holes in all of my socks, smelling food from all over the world but hardly eating, experiencing a state of being in complete awe of the nature in the Barbican Conservatory, chatting with strangers and waiters and a takeaway owner, going through the worst security check of my life, just barely salvaging my bread starter after it had exploded in my carry-on, then back in Milan, catching up with my roommates, making the messiest of cakes, more walking, finally biking but not before having cleaned the handle from a month’s worth of cobweb, trying to make plans but failing in the typical Milanese fashion, having a night go very blurry way too early, recovering and trying to order the puzzle bits of the evening in order while laying in the park, waiting an hour to get ice cream, enjoying a night of pizza and wine with long-time-no-see friends, finally managing to have a picnic by the lake, being forced back into the car by the heavy rain of springtime, complete with hail, drinking wine wrapped up in blankets as we were driving on the ridiculously tiny streets along the lake, wetting my feet in the ice-cold water, playing (and obviously winning) Scrabble, eating a cake straight from the tin, cavemen style, cuddling on the couch until falling asleep, saying bye at sunrise, back to bed, back to normal: waking up to a grumbling stomach and an almost empty fridge, finding the last spears of asparagus in a glass of water on the kitchen sill, having this salad for lunch, outside naturally.
Green Millet with Raw Asparagus and Cucumber
¼ cup millet
½ cup water
½ medium cucumber
5-6 spears thin asparagus
1 small clove garlic
¼ tsp dried tarragon
1 handful fresh basil
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar, or juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp black pepper, or less
salt to taste
Start by cooking the millet: place the grains on a drain, rinse, put in a small pot with a tight-fitted lid, cover with the measured water, add a pinch of salt, place on low heat, put the lid on, cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, let stand covered for another 5 minutes.
While the grains cook, prepare the vegetables. Wash the asparagus and chop finely, into 2mm pieces. You can peel the cucumber but I just washed mine with hot water and cut into quarters lengthwise, then into 1mm slices. Place in a bowl.
Chop up the basil, mince the garlic. Add to the produce along with the rest of the spices, oil and vinegar. Mix, let stand for 10 minutes, maybe even place in the fridge.
The millet should have absorbed all of the water, but place it back in the drain anyways and rinse with cold water to cool the grains.
Mix everything, taste, adjust seasoning, eat outside (as usually).