A small, round, yellow grain, millet is eaten daily in Africa and in its native Asia. Until recently, Americans used millet only as bird feed. These tiny golden grass seeds are gluten-free; rich in iron, B vitamins, and minerals; low in simple sugars; high in fiber; and boast a 15% protein content. They have a very mild flavor and are best if lightly toasted before cooking. Like couscous, which it resembles, millet can be served hot or cold in salads, sides, and soups. It’s also great simmered in milk for breakfast, and it pairs beautifully with rich ingredients like butter, cheese, and eggs, as well as spicy foods such as chiles and ginger.
Millet can be found at many supermarkets, in health food stores, and online.
Toast millet before cooking for the best flavor. It’s most often cooked like rice, and it can absorb an astounding amount of liquid. For a light, fluffy pilaf, keep the liquid level low; for a creamy polenta-like dish, use more liquid and cook the millet longer.
Kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place, it will last for several months.