Millet Patties with Olive Tapenade, Capers and Parmigiano Cheese

Serves 4-6

This recipe is inspired by the Grain Mains cookbook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, a book packed with great ideas that move grains center stage on your dinner table. This particular recipe appealed to me for its simplicity and versatility as you can spruce it up with pretty much anything. I served the patties with a nice buttery leaf salad, but you can also turn them into burgers or, as the authors suggest, slice the cooked patties into bite-sized bits and toss them in a large, Italian-style, chopped salad dressed with a nice vinaigrette.

3 cups water
1 cup millet
1 garlic clove
4 tablespoons olive tapenade
1/4 cup packed grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tablespoons capers, chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram leaves or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoon safflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the water and millet in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until it’s like a thick, coarse, hot breakfast cereal, about 30 minutes. Check the millet as it cooks and add more water, if necessary.
Uncover and stir well to incorporate any last bits of water.
Scrape the millet into a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.
Add olive tapenade, capers, cheese and herbs to the millet, stir well mashing ingredients together.
Adjust seasoning.
Use dampen hands to form the mixtures into patties, about 2-3 inches in diameter.
Melt the butter and heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet, preferably non-stick.
Slip the patties into the skillet and cook until brown and somewhat crispy, about 4 minutes. Flip them and continue cooking until set throughout and crispy, about 4 more minutes.
If your skillet isn’t large enough, work in batches adding more butter/oil if necessary and keeping the patties warm in the oven.

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