When I was writing The Homemade Flour Cookbook, I stepped far outside my comfort zone. I had worked for a year at a bakery and for a solid part of that time, was the sole baker in their dedicated gluten-free kitchen. Thanks to this experience, I was no stranger to all of these flours. But writing an entire book about all types of flours pushed me in my recipe development. One of the best accidents came from cooking millet that didn’t grind all the way. The end of result was this millet polenta that taste delicious and works almost identically to traditional corn-based polenta.
This cooking component is easy. Take a blender, food processor, or grain mill set to the coarsest setting and crack some millet. Leave about half the millet whole and create a bit of flour (this is key- it’s what makes the thickness possible). This technique also works with other grains, especially when making whole-grain risottos, but millet is the grain that closest resembles polenta.
A delicious and easy corn-free polenta using cracked millet.
- 1 cup uncooked millet
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium-vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, optional
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional
- Pulse millet in a food processor or blender, roughly 4 to 6 time, until the mixture resembles a course flour/meal.
- Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the millet and toast the cracked grain for a couple minutes, until the millet becomes fragrant.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to the lowest heat, and cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, whisking frequently.
Polenta should be thickened and any pieces of millet should have softened. If needed, add a splash more water to thin the polenta and cook for longer. Remove from heat and stir in the butter/cheese if using, whisking until smooth.
Tips & Tricks: Make ahead and reheat the next day with a bit of extra liquid.
Nutrition: see the information.
- Calories: 190
- Sugar: 0
- Sodium: 164.9
- Fat: 2.1
- Saturated Fat: .4
- Carbohydrates: 36.6
- Fiber: 4.3
- Protein: 5.5
- Cholesterol: 0
Sweet: Cook the polenta with milk and a touch of sweetener to make a creamy porridge/polenta base for an easy morning breakfast.
Cheesy: Make in the traditional style of polenta; add a couple tablespoons of butter and a cup or so of shredded cheese. I love adding goat cheese, sharp cheddar, or vegetarian-friendly parmesan.
Herby: Add your favorite herbs; chives, rosemary, thyme are a few of my favorites. Sometimes I like to eat the millet polenta with a simple swirl of pesto as well.
How to use Millet Polenta
Mix-ins: As mentioned above, the polenta has a lot of applications. Mix in herbs, herb-based sauces, cheese, nut-creams, vegetable purees (like sweet potato or butternut squash), or even bean puree (a perfect way to boost up the nutrients in a meal!)
Toppings-savory vegetable: It’s hard to go wrong when you use this polenta as a based. Roasted and grilled vegetables are usually my go-to toppings but pan-fried vegetables are also delicious. Try roasted asparagus, garlicky greens, roasted winter squash, or grilled summer squash.
Toppings-sweet: When I make this millet polenta in a sweet fashion, I love using fresh berries, roasted apples/pears, or even curds (lemon curd is a particular favorite!)
Fried: Spread the warm millet polenta in a container lined with parchment. Let cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours then remove from the pan and cut into pieces. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and lightly fry each side of the cut polenta.