i made a super simple version of this millet for our weekend lunch feast with friends last weekend. none of us had ever had a bowl of millet before then but it earned thumbs up from around the table. luckily i’d cooked way too much of it so when it came time for leftovers the following week, i sliced up some fresh local cucumber, stirred in a plop of hummus, and enjoyed a surprisingly kickass leftover lunch, jotting the gist of the recipe down with intent to share. days later, i saw this recipe from green kitchen stories for shakshuka in a bowl lined with hummus and it blew my mind. i yoinked the hummus-on-the-bottom idea for this millet bowl (and it proved a wise yoink, indeed); eating this combination with the hummus lining the bottom instead of stirred in helps preserve the unique, delicate textures + flavors of both the millet and the hummus. i think it presents beautifully, too, and to me it just feels like winning to luxuriously spoon hummus all over the surface of a plate that i, all by myself, get to eat.
and let’s definitely talk about this hummus, because it’s special even on its own. in place of the usual chickpeas it uses mung beans which make for an uncannily smooth and creamy consistency in hummus. mung beans are magical beans, too: they’re cheap, they’re cute as fuhh, their inner flesh is mild and light despite their bright green skin, and they seem to multiply as they soak, cook, and sprout — growing well over double in volume as they absorb water — so a little goes a long way. they are treasure. mung beans are my phat phat loots. that said, you can still make a brilliant classic hummus subbing chickpeas in this recipe for mung beans.
this meal tastes good warm, room temperature, or chilled and its components travel and keep well, so potlucks, notsaddesklunching, road food: yes yes yes. this is simple enough to make for weeknight dinners and flexible enough to afford infinite substitutions, depending on seasonal availability — example: sweet potato or butternut squash would be killer here in place of the cucumber, and crumbling fresh feta on top that would be divinity, plated and served. not a fan of millet? if you can tolerate wheat, use bulghur and go all tabbouleh style, and if you’ve got summer tomatoes as you read this (p.s. JEALOUS), throw those on, too. boom!
recipe updated 11/8/2015
- 1-2 large, crisp cucumbers, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- splash white wine vinegar
- splash lemon juice
- 3½ cups cooked millet, warm or at room temperature
- handful chopped cilantro or parsley
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 1½ cups (or one 14-ounce can, drained) cooked mung beans (or chickpeas, white beans)
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- up to ¼ cup water
- combine the cucumber, onion, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl, and mix to combine.
- add the millet, fluffing it with a fork to separate the grains a bit, and stir. season with the fresh herbs and salt/pepper. taste and adjust to your liking.
- pulse the garlic a few times in a food processor to prevent any chunky spicy surprises from showing up in your hummus. (dropping the garlic in through the feed tube while the machine is on works well for this, too.)
- add the other ingredients except water and process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- with the machine on, slowly add the water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until you get a consistency you like. i find that the mung beans continue to absorb a small amount of water as the hummus sits, so i make mine nice and airy/light.
- spoon a generous amount of hummus (one quarter of a single batch) onto the bottom of plates and smooth out with the back of a spoon. top with the prepared millet and sprinkle with additional lemon, pepper, or fresh herbs as desired. enjoy.
i soak one cup of dry mung beans overnight and cook them the following day, and it yields more than enough mung beans for a double batch of this hummus. (you'll probably want a double batch of this hummus [hummus is yummus])
you can make the hummus in slight advance to give it some chill time before eating, or you can whip it up when you put the salad together. this hummus tastes good warm and fresh as well as settled and chilled, so do what works for you.