Roasted Sweet Plantains, Pecan, & Millet Salad

This Roasted Sweet Plantains, Pecan, & Millet Salad is a vibrant twist on a classic grain salad. Vegan chef, editor, and food writer, Bryant Terry trades in the usual rice or quinoa for nutty, protein-rich millet. He then tosses it with caramelized roasted plantains for a delightful touch of sweetness. Though before this salad is finished, he adds toasted pecans for a satisfying crunch and a simple vinaigrette to tie all the flavors together. This unique and delicious salad is perfect for a light lunch, a refreshing side dish, or even a vegan main course.

What is Millet?

Even in its tiny round shape, millet is an ancient grain that packs a powerful punch. Cultivated for thousands of years, it’s popped up in kitchens across Asia and Africa. Millet is a gluten-free whole grain filled with protein and fiber. Unlike some gluten-free alternatives that can be bland, millet has a subtle nutty flavor and a slightly chewy texture that adds an extra depth. This recipe features it in a starring role, but millet can be enjoyed in many ways. Try boiling it for a side dish similar to couscous or even ground it into flour for baking.

Roasted Sweet Plantains, Pecan, & Millet Salad Recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Roasted Sweet Plantains, Pecan, & Millet Salad Ingredients

  • 2 large, ripe yellow plantains
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup pearl millet, soaked overnight in water + 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • Sweet Parsley Vinaigrette (see below)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves

For the Sweet Parsley Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup minced flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dark agave nectar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Salad Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Slice off the ends of each plantain, score the peel in four even strips, lengthwise, and remove the strips. Cut the plantain into quarters, lengthwise, and slice them into bite-size pieces.
  4. In a bowl, toss the plantains with the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  5. Spread in an even layer on the baking sheet and roast, stirring a few times to ensure even roasting, until starting to turn golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  6. While the plantains are roasting, drain the millet. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, toast the millet, occasionally shaking the pan to ensure even cooking, until the millet smells nutty, about three minutes.
  7. Add the water and ½ teaspoon salt, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Immediately decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a fine-mesh sieve, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
  8. Set aside to thoroughly drain for five minutes, then transfer to a bowl.
  9. Add the pecans, minced parsley, baked plantains, and half of the vinaigrette to the millet and toss to combine. Taste and add additional vinaigrette if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley leaves.

For the Sweet Parsley Vinaigrette:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, mustard, and agave nectar. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by the Bryant Terry, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Recipe by Bryant Terry / Styling by Julia Platt Leonard / Food Prepared by Juicy Foods 505 / Photography by Tira Howard

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