Millet is an ancient grain that is more like a seed. It’s versatile, gluten-free and has a mild nutty flavour. Surprisingly, millet is the sixth most important cereal grain in the world sustaining more than one third of the world’s population, especially in the developing word. It grows with minimal intervention in less fertile soil and stores well.
Millet is cooling in nature with a sweet, salty flavour and is the only alkaline forming grain. Therefore, little or no salt is required with cooking. Known as the ‘Queen of the Grains’, millet has many healing qualities. It helps to strengthen the kidneys, as well as the stomach and spleen; it builds the yin fluids, moistens dryness and balances over-acidic conditions. It can take practice to cook with but try various recipes. Toasting gives millet good flavour and texture.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
In a bowl, coat the broccoli in a couple of tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting tray and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli is starting to take on some colour and become tender. Whilst the broccoli is roasting you can also lightly roast the sunflower seeds, this will take about 4 minutes.
Once sunflower seeds and broccoli florets are roasted, remove them from the oven and place on one side.
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and add the millet, simmer on a low heat until the stock has been absorbed and the grains are tender. Add more water if you need during cooking as different brands will take different times to cook. Turn off the heat and leave the millet to one side.
Make the basil oil. Put the garlic, basil and 1 tbsp water into the bowl of a food processor and blitz together until you have a green paste, then gradually add the oils and half of the lemon juice (or more to taste), making sure you taste and season as you go to achieve a
tangy but balanced flavour. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Prepare the salad ingredients, roughly chop the parsley, tear the basil, and look over the rocket discarding any woody stems. Finally, shave the Parmesan.
To serve, add the half of the basil-lemon oil to the millet and mix well, add the grated Parmesan, and lemon zest. Coat the millet with the oil and other ingredients, add more oil as desired. Now combine the broccoli with the millet, half the rocket the chopped flat leaf parsley, torn basil and ¾ sunflower seeds.
Season generously and add some additional basil oil and top with shaved parmesan and remaining sunflower seeds.