Beyond Birdseed: Apple Cider Millet with Fried Sage.

When I think of fall flavors, a few things come to mind: apples, pumpkin, sage and cider.

As a little crisp has entered the air, I’ve felt the urge to reconnect with those flavors. So why not throw them all into one yummy dish?

I decided to use millet as my vessel. We’ve talked before about the hard knocks Ms. Millet endures. She’s often relegated to bird food! But I’m convinced millet has much more to offer. It’s got a pleasant, flavorful chew and–for the vegetarians who look for these sorts of things–millet is a good source of iron, calcium and B-vitamins. Boom!

This salad is vegan, whole grain and loaded down with the essence of fall. Serve it hot or serve it cold. It can be a side dish (Vore’s was eaten with pork tenderloin) or a main. Are you ready? Let’s have some fall fun…

Apple Cider Millet with Fried Sage!

Fried Sage

1/4 cup olive oil

12 large sage leaves

*Heat the oil in an 8-in skillet over medium high until small bubbles form.

*Add sage leaves and fry until crispy, turning once.

*Transfer sage leaves to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the remaining oil.

For the vinaigrette

1/4 cup apple cider or sparkling apple cider

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 (2 ounce) shallot, minced

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Reserved 1/4 cup sage infused oil

Whisk all ingredients except the oil. Once they are combined, pour the oil into the vinegar mixture in a slow steady stream, whisking all the while. Ta-da! Salad dressing.

For the Millet

1 cup dry millet

2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup crisp red apple, cut into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon lemon juice

12 fried sage leaves, crumbled

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted

*Add millet to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium high. Lightly toast.

*Pour in water and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until all the water has absorbed.

*Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

*Toss the chopped apple in lemon juice.

*Mix the vinaigrette, sage, pumpkin seeds and apple into the cooked millet.

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