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Saffron Buttered Millet with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Original recipe by C. Lair, 2009.

The unique flavor of saffron gives this whole grain just the right touch of flavor to compliment its sweet earthiness.

¾ cup millet

3 tablespoons butter, divided
¼ teaspoon saffron

1 2/3 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup toasted almonds,
½ cup currants
 ½ leek, chopped fine
red bell peppers

  • Place millet in a saucepan.  Wash and rinse several times until water is fairly clear.  Make sure most of the water is strained out the last time.  Then turn on the heat and toast the millet until it is completely dry and giving off a nice fragrance.  Add 2 teaspoons of the butter in saucepan.  Add millet and sauté until grains are coated.  
  • Place saffron in a packet made of foil.  Toast over a flame until the scent releases.  Remove from packet and grind with a mortar and pestle.
  • Add water, salt and toasted saffron to millet.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until all water is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.  Uncover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Toast almonds in 300 degree oven until they have changed color and give off fragrance.
  • Melt remaining butter in a large skillet.  Add currants and leek sauté until both have brightened then add roughly chopped almonds.  Slowly add millet, stirring constantly until millet and leeks are evenly mixed.  
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut bell peppers in half and seed. Use the third bell pepper if you plan to make the red pepper cream sauce.  Place face down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and roast until the skin just begins to blister but the peppers are holding their shape nicely, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Fill each pepper with a generous amount of the millet and serve immediately. Top with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce (see below) if desired.

Preparation time:  40-50 minutes
Makes 4 servings
Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

1/2 of a red pepper, roasted
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Allow roasted red pepper to cook.  Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Use as a topping for the millet dish.



Pat Levin
From time to time I catch your NPR show (usually while driving) and it is simply stellar! You digging through a drawer looking for some utensil reminds me of long ago days when we'd sit by the radio and listen to (and imagine) all that was presented. Your off-beat sense of humor (like mine), sound effects, and oh yes, cooking tips are a true antidote to the political and social clamor that sucks the life out of us all. Thank you for making me smile, and ok, guffaw at times! Granny Pat
October 1, 2009, 5:05 pm

Denise Johnson
I love your videos! You're all so funny! I'm allergic to almonds. What nut would you suggest as a substitute?
October 1, 2009, 6:28 pm

Cynthia Lair
Thank you Granny Pat and Denise. Your kind comments are very welcome. Toasted cashews would work nicely Denise.
October 1, 2009, 8:22 pm

Roxann Ziegele
Do you have some recipes using buckwheat?
October 5, 2009, 4:49 pm

Cynthia Lair
Yes Roxanne Kasha with Potatoes Soba Noodles Asian Noodle Salad
October 5, 2009, 7:29 pm

Rebecca Pouliot
If you don't have a gas stove, can you toast the saffron over an electric burner?
October 7, 2009, 6:59 pm

Tammy Gifford
wow! THis was great! My family is usually reluctant to eat new and different things but this was excellent and you were right about it being great for breakfast too, as that is exactly what I did with the leftovers! My husband is a diabetic and this did not raise his blood sugars! He loved the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce too! Thanks!
October 9, 2009, 1:08 pm

Karen Meharg
Cynthia, Is your show on NPR called Cookus Interruptus as well? I live in WA state and wondered when you were on, name of your show, etc. so I can find you here.
July 16, 2011, 10:35 am

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