I’ve just gotten back from Barcelona to sort out things at home before really starting the holidays. Which might not be the best choice of a word, because it looks like I’m about to have the busiest, most exciting summer yet. Besides the expected work, I can’t wait for beetroot leaf soups, chanterelles, staying in other cities, making things with my hands, watching movies on a proper TV, maybe even biking on the wrong (left) side of the road. Hopefully, there’ll also be the warmth of being with friends so close they are basically family, the late night card games my brother always wins (even if he doesn’t), baking with berries picked in forests , feeling sand in my hair and tasting salt on my skin, having evenings go blurry as the sun goes down.
Against all of the thrill acts having to say goodbye, unwillingly; definitely or just for the next couple of weeks, as what I’ll come back to won’t be what I’ll have left. My walks to the supermarket will be in different company, and on those in the rain I may soon find myself alone; plus, who knows what will replace the occasional shouting in Italian. And I can’t really bring myself to think about whom I’ll hang out with past midnight on random evenings when boredom hits.
The idea for this salad comes from an item on this menu I didn’t get to try so I just gave my intuition a shot with the flavor. It looks vibrant on the plate and leaves you feeling light; what more to ask for on a hot day like today?
Millet, Orange and Lamb’s Lettuce Salad with Coriander Dressing
(makes 1 for lunch or 2 as a side)
¼ cup millet, uncooked + ½ cup water (or quinoa, see the recipe for comments)
1 tsp cumin
2 cups lamb’s lettuce
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp dried cranberry
for the dressing:
1 - 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp agave
½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground coriander
For this salad, you want the millet grains to be separate and have some texture to them, so the cooking method is slightly different than in the case of morning porridges.
Place a dry pot with a tightly fitting cover on high heat, add the grains and toast until pale in color and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the measured water and spices, cover with the lid, and let cook for 15-20 minutes over very low heat, checking occasionally to prevent burning.
If that seems like too much of a hassle, use quinoa instead, remembering to add the cumin and salt.
Rinse the lettuce and let dry on a paper towel.
Peel the orange and cut it in half, then in quarters.
Roughly chop the walnuts and toast on a dry pan.
Rinse the cooked millet with cold water, to keep all the ingredients cool.
Place the greens in a bowl, add the grains, and arrange the orange slices on top. Sprinkle with the cranberries and walnuts.
Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a jar and shaking vigorously. Try it and season to taste before pouring over the salad.