Butternut kale baked millet

Greens and gold…this was my attempt last week at a little St. Patrick’s Day spirit for dinner this year. I was going to call it a baked millet risotto because it was modeled after this beautiful Martha Stewart baked risotto, only here was none of the painstaking care, or even semblance of systematic, gradual adding of liquids implied by the name. The reality was a literal dumping of eyeballed amounts of broth/water in two parts–first while prepping vegetables, then while adding them to the pot.

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More often than I understand, I ruminate while cooking on how poor and haphazard the technique is. I project the raised eyebrows, scowls, and pitying, dismissive glances  any real chef would give the activity and yields of my busy, cramped cozy kitchen. I guess it’s good my palate is more forgiving than those imagined glares, because right now, easy equates to even more delicious when it comes to tasty food. This was hearty, fresh, and satisfying. Finishing in the oven lends a creaminess reminiscent of risotto without being overly porridge-like.

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Speaking of porridge, the consistency of this casserole was just right for Little Monkey to shovel into his spoon with the same gusto he typically gives to his morning oatmeal. He’s such a “big boy” now with his eating habits–making choices and requests, engaging at (and sometimes on, being a true little MONKEY) the table, and overall reveling in budding independence. Here’s my cue to lapse as per usual in bittersweet and whimsical reflection on how fast–too fast–our little one is growing up, but today I won’t, because yesterday we had a sweetly unexpected visit with Christina, a wise dear friend whose voice alone is reassuring on all things, even the swift passage of time. A real hug in person, comfort that deserves at the very least a day’s break from wistful dwelling. Thank you, Christina–you’re a friend to have faith in. (And by the way, this recipe is too. Definitely a make again. Enjoy!)

 

cocoa oatmeal cookies (2)Butternut kale baked millet casserole

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups millet
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled , seeded and cubed/cut in chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bunch black kale, tough stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, approximately two minutes. Add garlic, sage, and parsley and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add millet and stir constantly one minute.
  4. Add wine and broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add squash and water; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, approximately 5 minutes more.
  6. Stir in kale. Transfer to a 9 X 13 baking dish or casserole. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.

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