Mexican-Style Black Bean and Millet Salad

One of the oldest grains known to be cultivated by humans, millet is a staple food in many parts of Eurasia as well as in Africa where it is thought to have originated thousands of years ago. Although in North America it's primarily grown as livestock fodder, millet is a highly nutritious grain for humans, containing nearly 15% protein, high amounts of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium minerals, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, and the essential amino acid methionine. Non-glutenous and non-acid-forming, millet is also one of the most easily digestible and least allergenic of grains.

But to the modern cook, the main appeals of millet are its warm buttery and slightly nutty taste and a soft porous texture that easily absorbs spicy or astringent flavors. These qualities make it a perfect complement to citrus and fresh tomatoes, and a welcome and healthy addition to zesty summer salads. This simple Mexican-style black bean salad loaded with tomatoes and vegetables and tossed with a spicy lemon-balsamic vinaigrette is a delicious way to incorporate millet into a complete, healthy and colorful summer meal.

Mexican-Style Black Bean and Millet SaladMexican-Style Black Bean and Millet Salad
Recipe by
Cuisine: Mexican
Published on July 17, 2010

Simple, colorful and healthy Mexican-style black bean salad with millet, fresh tomatoes and vegetables tossed with a zesty lemon-balsamic vinaigrette

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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  • 2/3 cup dried black beans (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons (6 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Rinse the millet under cold running water and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of cold water, and leave to soak overnight. Separately, rinse the beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water.

  • Drain and rinse the beans and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender but not falling apart.

  • Meanwhile, bring the millet to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool while the beans are cooking.

  • Combine the millet, beans, and vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss gently to blend.

  • Serve warm or cold.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Other millet recipes you may enjoy:
Millet-Quinoa Hash with Peppers and Zucchini on Sautéed Greens
Spicy Indian-Style Millet
Northeast African Millet Patties

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Angie said...

This looks so good! I'v booked marked for future meal ideas! Thank you!

Satya said...

hi lisa
mexican style black bean n millet salad looks awesome ...this salad is new to me n millet too ...good to know the healthy aspect of millet ...i will try this soon.
first time writing in ur blog ...u got a beautiful space with wonderful collection of recipes from all over the world ..
if u get time do visit my blog


Spice Rack said...

I love the combination of fresh tomatoes and parsley. It is sometimes good to taste a little mexican food. I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks.

FewMinute Wonders said...

I am watching and seeing a lot more salad recipes. Yours look so colorful and makes me want to make it ASAP.

dining tables said...

Mexican-Style Black Bean and Millet Salad is so healthy. It has so many healthy ingredients. I think this food is perfect for vegetarians.

eatme_delicious said...

I very rarely use millet as I find it quite mushy but that's likely due to the way I've been cooking it too. I love what you've done with it here!

saveur said...

Lisa, this looks great! I bought some millet without a clue what to do with it, and this definitely tempts me. :)