Mother has requested recipes that include saffron (besides your standard saffron brown rice) because she acquired some during her travels and wanted to know what else to use it in. Actually she requested quite some time ago, but I got backlogged on the request list. So she wants saffron recipes and I am here to please. I have made a list, and here’s the first on the list. I realize it’s fairly close to a saffron rice dish, but this is millet..and lime juice..and veggie goodness! I took this pilaf recipe to a whole new level: a pealaf level! This recipe should serve 8 as a side dish…ergo, it’s good for those us cooking for 1 and like to have leftovers for lunch during the week!
2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, strings removed, finely chopped
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
1 C millet (FYI: millet does retain a bit of a crunch, if you’re used to quinoa that gets soft..just be aware, millet doesn’t do that)
1/4 C frozen corn
2 C water or veg broth
juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 C frozen peas (but feel free to lose your marbles and add as many peas as you desire)
3/4 C chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 C slivered toasted almonds *optional
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, celery, salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables begin to brown. Add the saffron and millet, and cook stirring, 1 minute more.
2. Add the water, or broth, and lime juice. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. At about 20 min (when it only has about 5 minutes to go), add 1/4 C frozen peas.
3. Turn off the heat, and let sit, covered, until tender, 10 minutes more.
4. Add the cilantro and toasted slivered almonds (if using), and stir with a fork to combine and fluff the pilaf. Serve garnished with more cilantro, along side steamed green beans and a stuffed bell pepper.
Variations: This would also make a wonderful stuffer for Stuffed Bell Peppers! You could also use a lemon in place of the lime, and another herb (like basil or something) in place of cilantro..if that’s how you roll.
*Alternatively, if you can’t find millet…try Quinoa, Orzo pasta, Brown Rice…whatever you can get! Obviously cooking times will vary depending on which you choose..