Monday, January 25, 2010

Citrusy Millet-Crusted Aubergine

This was sort of an experiment; I've used couscous as a crust for aubergine (aka, eggplant) before, but never millet. As with my previous experiences with couscous, I found it difficult to get the millet to stick to the aubergine--but the stuff that did stick made a nice crispy coating. Personally, I prefer millet over couscous any day.

For the millet mixture, I pre-cooked about 1 cup of millet in lightly salted water until just cooked, but still firm and toothsome. Then I drained the millet and mixed in the zest of 1 large orange and about 4 tablespoons of fresh orange juice, drizzled some olive oil through, and let the warm millet soak up the flavors. The mixture looked like this:

For the aubergine, I sliced one large aubergine into 1/2 inch slices, dredged them in some flour, then dipped them in prepared Ener-G egg replacer and water (double recipe prepared per package instructions), and finally the millet. As I mentioned, it didn't stick very well, so I'll have to work on that in future.

I baked the aubergine on a lightly greased baking sheet in a 375 F oven for about 20 - 25 minutes until the millet was golden and the aubergine was tender.

In my book, aubergine always goes well served with a simple tomato sauce:

3 cups pureed tomato (I pureed a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes)
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1 teaspoon good quality dried oregano (or use a few generous sprigs of fresh and add it with the parsley)
pinch of red pepper flakes
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Gently saute the garlic, chili pepper and oregano in some olive oil over medium-low heat, when the garlic and herbs are fragrant (but not browned) add the tomato sauce and bring to simmer. Toss in the parsley and salt and pepper and let it cook gently for as long as you like, (at least 45 minutes - 1 hour). Add water as needed to maintain desired consistency.

On the side, we had a dandelion and parsley salad with warmed orange slices and walnuts, which complemented the orange millet crust.

As an extra experiment, I also made a couple little "sandwiches" with hummus spread in between two aubergine slices:

I'll definitely make this sort of thing again, if anyone has any tips on getting the millet to stick to the aubergine, let me know;)

Ad Hoc Note:
Alicia from Vegan Epicurean made a great observation in her comment...the millet would work just as well used dry (not pre-cooked) and would stick better as a makes sense, and I think that the dry millet would toast up nicely in the oven.


  1. Oh, my gosh, I have no idea what aubergine is! How embarrassing. Whatever it is, it looks incredible. And your creativity is out of this world. Beautiful.

  2. BlessedMama,

    Don't be embarrased...that's my fault for being pretentious...aubergine is used in British English for eggplant...I just love the word and think it sounds so much more elegant than eggplant...:)

  3. Rose,

    I love your experiment. Millet as a crust. Brilliant!

    On getting the millet to stick .... how dry was the millet? That may make a difference. Also, I tend to use pureed silken tofu that I thin with a little water as the egg replacement when I am going to bake a breaded item. You may want to try that. My gut reaction is that dry millet will solve the sticking problem. Fingers crossed.


  4. What a great idea! I've never thought of using a grain like couscous or millet as breading. I bet it tasted great.

  5. Another slam dunk post. I know a restaurant in Northern Virginia that could use a few meal ideas...;-)

  6. Alica,

    Thanks for the silken tofu idea...and I think you're right about using the dry that I think about it, it should toast up nicely in the oven without being cooked first.


    Thanks for commenting. The millet was a fun and crunchy crust.


    Thanks so much for your seriously kind words.

  7. I'm happy you explained what aubergine is in the comments. I had no idea! It looks great and that's definitely an interesting breading technique. Great post!

  8. I really like the idea of a millet crust, but I can see where it would be hard to make it stick. Do you think millet flour would work? I know that would be very different from cooked millet.

  9. Jill,

    Thanks for commenting...sorry for the confusion with the eggplant/aubergine...i just love the word "aubergine" :)

  10. Andrea,

    Millet flour would probably work ...although that's a guess because i've never worked with millet flour in particular...i was actually thinking of trying the uncooked, dry millet next time, which would be easier to make stick...I think the uncooked millet would toast up like little seeds in the oven.

  11. Thanks for the definition. Kind of like green onions versus scallions. Ha ha!

  12. BlessedMama,

    Yeah totally, I'm a sucker for that sort of stuff...:)

  13. It made me smile the comments about the Aubergine vs eggplant. Soemtimes I forget the different names there are for veg in the English speaking world.

    Ah the Aubergine. You either love it or hate. I grew to like it as I got older, before that I would never give it a second thought. I like your idea for this recipe, the crusted millet sounds fab. Millet is not something I am that familiar with, so will keep this recipe in mind.

  14. Mangocheeks,

    I love the word aubergine and the word courgette...I prefer to use them instead of the American English counterparts...even though I'm in America.


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