Sunday, May 17, 2009

Middle Eastern Style Cold Millet and Fruit Salad

We love Middle Eastern food in our house. Today’s salad is not traditional, but is inspired by the flavors that we enjoy. I wanted something Middle Eastern and dreamed this up after tasting the dressing. The pomegranate molasses and ras el hanout seem to be perfect with fruit today to me.

I used millet because it is a healthy whole grain that is packed with niacin and magnesium. Most of the other ingredients are traditional Middle Eastern flavors, except the apple, which I added for crunch. Those of you who know me know how I strive for textural variation in my dishes.

It is difficult to describe the taste of this salad. It is sweet and tangy from the pomegranate molasses, which is very prominent in this dish. It is also sweet from the dried fruit. The lemon juice keeps the salad from being overly sweet. The apple and pistachio give the salad crunch. The mint provides a fresh quality to the salad. The ras el hanout gives the salad a big punch of flavor attitude.

Middle Eastern Style Cold Millet and Fruit Salad
Makes 6 servings


1 cup of millet
2 ½ cups of water

zest and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons of ras el hanout

salad add-ins:
1 firm apple, finely diced
12 dried apricots, sliced
8 dried figs, sliced
¼ cup of pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup of fresh mint, finely chopped


Put millet and water in a pot with a lid. When the millet comes to a boil cover the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes then allow to stand for 10 minutes so that the water can finish absorbing.

Put millet into dressing while it is still hot to encourage it to absorb more flavor. Cool the salad before adding the fruit.

Incorporate the fruit, nut and mint evenly into the salad and serve cold.


This salad improves with time as the flavors marry. I like to include this for lunch with a green salad.

1 comment:

  1. This turned out great. Millet is one of my favorite grains and the addition of all the other ingredients made this nearly perfect. I particularly liked the mint to brighten the flavor and add a counterpoint to the fruit.


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