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Millet and Cheddar Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Millet makes a rich, soft polenta, and sharp Cheddar highlights the mild, slightly sweet flavor of the grain. Roasted winter vegetables complete this warming vegetarian supper.

Serves 4


1 lb. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, trimmed and halved if medium, quartered if large

1 lb. fresh pearl onions (any color), peeled, or frozen pearl onions, thawed

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs. sherry vinegar


1 cup millet

5 to 6 cups vegetable broth, preferably homemade

1½ oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter

4 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated (1½ cups)

Sea salt

Extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter, for serving (optional)


Position a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, onions, and Brussels sprouts with 2 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, thyme, 1½ tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, stir the vegetables, and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 35 minutes total. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and the vinegar.


Meanwhile, rinse and drain the millet. Put it in a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until it smells toasty and turns deeply golden, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add 5 cups of the vegetable broth and the butter and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Allow the millet to simmer gently, stirring after the first 20 minutes and then every 7 to 8 minutes thereafter to prevent sticking, until it becomes a thick, creamy porridge with a chewy texture, about 35 minutes total. If it seems too thick, stir in a little more broth. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt, if needed.

Serve the polenta in wide, shallow bowls with the roasted vegetables on top. Drizzle a little olive oil or melted butter over each serving, if you like.


It is a quote. Fine Cooking Magazine February / March 2011

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