Pea and Millet Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Blue Cheese Dressing

Shelling peas reminds me of visits to my Grandmother’s house, sitting on her balcony with a huge bucket of peas.  I surmise that bucket is huge only in my memory, and likely contained no more peas than our family would eat for supper that night. I liked sitting there, shelling peas, chasing after the peas that got away while pealing.  Back then, eating them was another matter altogether, I was not a picky eater, but peas I did not like.  These days I cannot resist a peas straight of the vine

Peas belong to a very important family of edible plants, the legume family, second in importance only to the grasses the seeds of which give us wheat, maize, and rice.  Legumes are known for their high protein content and are used in many parts of the world as a dietary staple in lieu of animal proteins.  Legumes are good at producing protein due to their symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium, a soil bacterium that invades its roots and fixes nitrogen from the air for the plants use.

Peas have been cultivated for over 9,000 years and are native to the Mediterranean region and East Asia.  Traditionally, peas are eaten when the fruit is fully mature – referred to today as split peas.  Split peas were an important source of protein in Europe during the middle ages, and only during early modern times did the consumption of immature peas become common.  In England, the distinction between garden peas (immature peas) and field peas (mature peas) dates to the 17th century.

What is, to me, by far most interesting about peas is their contribution to our understanding of genetics.  Through the work of Gregor Mendel, we understand the laws that govern how traits are passed down through generations, called the laws of Mendelian inheritance.  Mendel followed 7 different characteristics of peas (such as seed shape and color) through multiple generations to define these laws.

pea

pea

peas

grilled vegetables

grilled vegetables

pea millet salad

Print Recipe
Pea and Millet Salad with Grilled vegetables and Blue Cheese Dressing
This is a lovely summer meal that can be served either hot or cold. The millet and peas make a wonderful mild flavor combination, which is complemented by the grilled vegetables and sharp blue cheese.
pea millet salad
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 3 small to medium zucchini
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Blue cheese dressing I make my own based on the Joy of Cooking recipe.
  • Parsley for serving optional
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 3 small to medium zucchini
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Blue cheese dressing I make my own based on the Joy of Cooking recipe.
  • Parsley for serving optional
pea millet salad
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, cook for millet for 20-25 minutes in broth adding 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt to taste. The millet is done once all the moisture has been absorbed.
  2. If using fresh peas, boil in water for two minutes. When done, strain and rinse under cold running water for a minute. Then add to cooked millet. If using frozen peas, add to hot millet once the millet is cooked. This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for several days prior to serving, if serving cold.
  3. Slice zucchini once lengthwise. Generously oil the scallions and zucchini then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the scallions and zucchini on a preheated grill on high until done. 3-5 minutes per side for the zucchini, 1 minute per side for the scallions.
  5. Assemble just prior to serving by adding millet and grilled vegetables to a bowl and topping with blue cheese dressing and chopped parsley.


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