Millet And Black Bean Salad


I’ve always had this romantic idea that I’d move to the town my grandmother was born, my ancestral home, and start a farm. I imagine a quiet modest farm surrounded by pristine wilderness.
While this dream is inhibited by the fact that I don’t have the wildest clue about farming, every time I read about someone or some couple who’ve gone off to start a farm, my heart quickens.
I thought about it seriously, albeit briefly once when a friend took a year off to work on a millet farm somewhere in the Sahel.
Millet is a grain (well, actually a seed) that has been around for thousands of years, it’s an important food source for people in Sahel region mainly because it’s such a low-maintenance crop – it grows in spite of the desert, droughts, high temperatures and low soil fertility.
It’s one tough plant, I hope there are songs and adages extolling its resilience…


Millet is also nutrient rich, gluten free, easily digestible and absolutely delicious when done right. It has a hint of sweetness and a slight nutty flavour. The texture is gritty polenta-like.
I bought a bag of millet to try, just around the time I was idealizing my plan for the millet farm – I cooked it like I would rice, but I must have done something wrong because it was undercooked and tasted like tiny stones.
I’m a giver of second chances… so I tried it again, this time using a good recipe and following instructions, and voila! I’d added another grain in to my repertoire.

This millet and black bean salad is what I like to do to left over millet, I chop up a few vegetables and toss it together with the millet, and whatever beans I have in the fridge at the moment. I coat it in a simple dressing of balsamic vinaigrette and add some nuts – that’s dinner, sometimes with a side of other leftovers.
I usually make a batch to last me the week.

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Millet and Black Bean Salad


  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ clove of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (or your favourite herbs)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • A few olives, pitted and chopped (optional)
  • A handful of toasted pecans, or almonds or other nut


  1. Toast millet in a (heavy-bottomed) saucepan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly until fragrant and just golden brown
  2. Remove pan from heat and carefully add broth, return to heat, bring to boil over medium heat then reduce heat to medium low
  3. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and millet is tender, 20 to 25 minutes
  4. Remove from the heat and set aside to let stand, covered, for 5 minutes
  5. *Rice Cooker Option: Add toasted millet to rice cooker with vegetable broth, stir and set to cook per your machine instructions.
  6. Fluff cooked millet with a fork and set aside to cool
  7. In a large salad or mixing bowl, toss the millet with black beans, red onions, bell pepper, carrots, sundried tomatoes and red pepper flakes
  8. Add nutritional yeast (if using) and a pinch of salt, and mix
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper – taste as you go to ensure you have the perfect balance
  10. Pour dressing over millet mixture and toss gently to coat
  11. Add olives and pecans and serve
  12. Enjoy!



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  • Reply waka network

    Bursting with flavors! Love the color combination and how you plate this recipe. Great job!

    20 April, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thank you! 🙂

      20 April, 2012 at 11:29 pm
  • Reply lysa jordan

    This looks like a delicious meal. I haven’t made millet for a long time. I love your picture! I can’t wait to try this!

    22 April, 2012 at 6:19 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thanks, I hope you try it 🙂

      22 April, 2012 at 9:12 pm

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