Millet croquettes with eggplant puree

Celiac awareness day is celebrated on September 13. I'm a few days late, but I thought I'd share this delicious gluten free recipe.

If you're not familiar with millet, you should be! Millet is a non-glutinous grain that has a very small, yellow round shape. It's hypoallergenic and is a great substitute to wheat. It's a common grain in birdseed, but it's definitely for more than just the birds. Rich in magnesium—which is thought to help with asthma and reduce migraines—phosphorous and the B vitamins, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and B6. It's also a better source of protein than wheat, corn and rice.

When cooked millet becomes pretty sticky, so it's perfect for croquettes. You don't even need an egg to help bind these veggie-packed patties. These croquettes are baked, not fried so they're better for you.

Millet croquettes
1 c millet, rinsed
3.5 c water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 c kale, chopped
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1 pepper, minced
1 tsp freshly ground cumin
1/2 tsp zaatar
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Rinse millet. Add 3.5 c water, millet and 1/2 tsp sea salt to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15-20 minutes. (Starting with cold water makes the grain stickier which is perfect when making croquettes. If you wanted to make a pilaf or grain salad, start with boiling water.)

Bring another pot of water to boil. As you're waiting, you can chop up the kale. Make sure to remove the stems. Have an ice bath in another bowl ready (Fill bowl halfway with water and add ice cubes). When the water is boiling add the kale. Blanch the kale for about 1 minute then dunk into the ice bath. When the kale is cool, remove from the ice bath and mince.

Put a saute pan over low heat. Add the olive oil. Then add the onion, cooking until translucent. Stir in the minced pepper, salt, pepper, cumin and zaatar. After a few more minutes add the garlic. Cook until the garlic has become fragrant and then remove from heat.

When the millet is done, let is sit for a few minutes. Mix the kale and onion mixture together in a large bowl. Then add the millet. Mix well with your hands. When it's all mixed, form small patties with your hand. Put onto the baking sheet and bake on each side for 10 minutes or until it side lightly browns.

Makes about 12-2 inch croquettes.

Eggplant puree
6 small eggplants
1 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c plain yogurt
3 T tahini
1/4 c parsley, minced

Preheat oven to 350. Place eggplant onto a baking sheet and poke a few holes in each eggplant. Put into the oven, cook for about 25 minutes or until the eggplant is soft.

While eggplant is cooking, saute the garlic in olive oil over low-to-medium heat. Remove when you start to smell the garlic.

Mix the yogurt, tahini and parsley together in a small bowl. Add the garlic and olive oil.

Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it cool. When it's cool enough to touch, slice it open lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Put the eggplant and yogurt mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth.

Top the millet croquettes with the eggplant mixture.


Makes about 3/4 a cup.


Sources: 
WHFoods.org
Murray 2005, p. 347-348.