Toasted Millet Salad With Cucumber, Avocado and Lemon

Ingredients

  • ½

    cup millet or other grains, such as barley, farro, brown rice or kasha

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼

    cup olive oil

  • 1

    tablespoon lemon zest plus 1/4 cup juice

  • 1

    tablespoon honey

  • Black pepper

  • 1

    pound English or Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise into 1/2-inch spears, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces

  • 1

    packed cup mint leaves

  • ¼

    cup sliced almonds (optional)

  • 1

    avocado, pitted and sliced into quarters

Preparation

  1. To a small pot set over medium heat, add the millet and toast, swirling the pan constantly until the grains begin to crackle, become fragrant and deepen in color to a deep tan, about 10 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to low and carefully add 1 1/4 cups water, season with salt, bring to a simmer and cook, partly covered, until the millet is softened, about 15 minutes. Remove the millet from the heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and let sit covered for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and allow to cool to room temperature. You can do this step ahead and store the cooked millet in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (If using other grains, toast first, then cook according to package directions.)
  3. While the millet cooks, make the vinaigrette: Combine the lemon zest, juice and honey in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the cooled millet with cucumbers, mint, almonds (if using) and half of the lemon vinaigrette; divide among bowls. Top each bowl with an avocado quarter and dress with spoonfuls of vinaigrette.