Fresh Corn, Tomato and Millet Salad

In year’s past, I’ve made a Summer Bucket List, kind of mapping out what I wanted to do, accomplish or see during these fleeting warm months in Seattle. Usually there are a few things to learn or do more of (bake more bread, crochet) but this year is looking different. This year I’m focusing on getting better at doing … nothing.

Of course I still have things I’m excited about, but what I want the most is just to have time to sit in the sun, quietly. Maybe read a book. Make the watermelon agua fresca that Sam made last year, occasionally spiking it in the evening and drinking it barefoot out on the stoop. Have friends over for crepes in the morning. Chase Ollie around with the garden hose.

Lately on weekends, Oliver turns to me and says, “I don’t know what to do now” and I empathize with that feeling because I remember it from when I was young — having these long stretches of unstructured time and not knowing how to fill it. So in a way we’re in the same boat, Oliver and I.

We all know that it’s good for kids to be bored – their little minds and imagination need that. Likewise, we need that as adults, too — to find more space in the midst of our tense days, more air, maybe even let our minds wander while sitting in the sun with absolutely zero agenda (and no phone in sight). It turns out, checking things off of a Bucket List is easy; much less easy is learning how not to have one in the first place.

Fresh Corn, Tomato and Millet Salad

Fresh Corn, Tomato and Millet Salad

  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Prep time: -1 min
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Inactive time: 10 mins
  • Total time: 45 mins

This is a great weeknight side dish or picnic / potluck contender because millet cooks so quickly (and is naturally gluten free!). The salad travels well, and marries all those good summer flavors we wait all year for. When sweet corn is in season, there’s really no need to cook it – just slice it right off the cob and fold it into this whole grain salad! If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar, feel free to use regular balsamic — just know that it can change the color of the salad.

Ingredients

For the salad:

1 cup (200g) millet, rinsed and drained
3 ears fresh sweet corn, husked (about 2 cups / 300g)
1 1/2 cups (250g) halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (65g) crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1/3 cup (5g) chopped fresh basil
flaky salt, to finish

For dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots (from 1 medium shallot)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
few grinds fresh black pepper

Instructions

Cook the millet: Bring 2 cups of water and ½ teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add millet, stir and return to a boil. Then decrease the heat to a simmer and cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain away any remaining water.

Turn the drained millet out onto a small sheet pan and spread it out so it’s in a single layer. Let sit for 10 minutes (this will help dry it out just a bit so the salad doesn’t get too clumpy / wet).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Chop tomatoes and basil. Slice corn off of the cobs. Add the millet to a large salad bowl, and toss with tomatoes, basil and corn. Dress the salad and fold in the feta. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

Leftover salad is great covered in the refrigerator for at least 4 days.

Comments

  1. yaki

    This looks so good.Thanks for Sharing such a useful post.Love it and i will never miss your post.

  2. Lori

    Hi Megan, I can sympathize with your feelings about doing nothing. After always juggling multiple projects at home and work and trying to have a family life, I had a little eye opener that changed things for me. I had to have some surgery on the gums around one of my molars. And in my busy, busy life, I drove to the pharmacy 15 minutes before I needed to take a "relaxer" that the peridiontist had prescribed. I quickly drove back to my office and took the meds without taking even one minute to skim the paperwork that came with them. I then walked to the peridiontist's office (1 block thankfully) for my appointment. When I came out, I texted my husband to say he didn't need to pick me up (a text that later I'd see and realize that it was completely garbled) that I was walking back to work. 30 minutes later, my officemate returned from a meeting and found me asleep on my desk. I walked home and went to sleep, The next day when I finally read the directions, I realized I was under heavy medication and maybe shouldn't have taken the complete dose, definitely shouldn't have walked anywhere or went back to work. It was a big lesson to slow down. Since then I've really shut down all my extra projects and there are times when it's just plain weird that I don't have a huge list of things that need to be done. But my mind has been clearer and I've had all kinds of great ideas. It's my fallow period. I know it won't last, but I'm finding joy in the nothing for the moment.

    1. megang

      Hi, Lori! Oh my gosh, that sounds scary (and sounds like something I would do, too). Isn't it funny how we often need something bigger to happen to get us to reflect on what's working / not working? So glad you're finding joy in your fallow period (I like this phrase). Really, isn't that what summer should be all about anyway? Enjoy your weekend and always nice to see your name pop up here :)

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