Whether they come from your backyard or the local farmer’s market, tis the season for the freshly picked. Calcium-rich dark leafy greens are especially tender and delicious when picked early, before they are full-grown. This dish is made with young tatsoi, mizuna and kale, combined with with an ancient gluten-free grain, millet. While the greens are lightly sautéed, the millet is cooked twice (you can cook it first the night before) and then gently scrambled with a collection of fresh herbs and edible flowers. Talk about balancing young with old, dark with light, quick with long-cooked…
1 cup millet
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 ¼- inch thick slice of ginger (about the size of a quarter)
1 cup (loosely packed) each of baby kale, mizuna and tatsoi
2 fresh chives
1 sage leaf
5-10 oregano leaves
2 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
a few pinches fine sea salt
several edible flowers (I used viola tricolori here)
Process To save time, I cook the millet the day or night before and store it in the fridge. Sort (removing any pebbles) and rinse the millet.
Place it in a wire mesh strainer and set aside.
Heat a stainless steel skillet on a medium flame for about 30 seconds. Add the sesame oil and warm it for about 30 seconds. Peel the ginger and slice it into four matchsticks.
Place them in one Tablespoon of the sesame oil and sauté them for about one minute, until the sesame oil is infused with the ginger. Add the millet to the pan. Use cooking chopsticks to turn and roast each grain of millet, until you smell a nutty aroma and the millet is well-covered with the ginger-infused oil.
Remove the ginger from the pan. Bring 3 ½ cups water with a pinch of sea salt to a boil in a small to medium sized pot Add the millet,
cover with a tight-fitting lid and adjust the flame to a simmer. Cook the millet until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and set aside to cool.
Chop the herbs (chives, parsley, thyme, sage and oregano) into tiny pieces and set aside. Heat a medium-sized stainless steel or cast iron skillet over a medium flame for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining Tablespoon of sesame oil and allow it to warm for another 30 seconds. Add the chopped herbs, one at a time in this order: chives, sage, oregano, parsley and thyme.
When herbs are wilted and almost crisp (but not brown or burnt) add the millet.
Use a wooden spoon to integrate the herbs and scramble the millet so it is warmed throughout. Simmer it for another 2-3 minutes. As the millet simmers, wash the kale, mizuna and tastoi well.
Trim any tough stems from all three and drain.
Fill a medium to large stainless steel skillet with about one inch of water. Add a pinch of sea salt and heat the water until it begins to bubble, but not boil. Add the kale first, then the, mizuna and, lastly, the tatsoi to the skillet.
After about 30 seconds the greens will wilt and turn a more intense shade of green. Add the soy or tamari sauce and turn off the flame. Now plate the scrambled millet and randomly scatter the edible flowers on top. Surround the millet with the quick-sautéed greens.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2016