Serves: 4 as a main dish (6 as a starter)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Mid-week cooking can seem like a chore but why not get inspired with this unusually light and tasty nut and vegetable millet torte⁠⁠.


Ingredients

For the topping

  • 1 unwaxed orange
  • 2 shallots
  • 10 oz. (300 g) butternut squash
  • 1 lb. (500 g) Brussels sprouts
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for the dish or pan
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup (2 oz./50 g) pecans
  • Fine salt and freshly ground pepper

For the millet torte

  • Scant ½ cup (3 oz./80 g) millet flakes
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) milk
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 small pinch grated nutmeg
  • Fine salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

For the topping

1Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Lightly oil the dish or pan.

2Finely grate the zest of the orange, taking care not to include the bitter white pith, and squeeze the juice. Peel and dice the shallots. With a vegetable peeler, peel the butternut and cut it into small cubes. Remove the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts and cut them into two or four pieces, depending on their size.

3Spread the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, shallots, and garlic clove on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, orange zest, and orange juice, and drizzle the mixture over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and crumble the thyme leaves over. Turn the vegetables over using your hands to ensure that they are evenly coated.

4Bake for 30 minutes, stirring two or three times, until the vegetables are tender and nicely colored. With a sharp knife, open the garlic clove, scoop out the flesh, and mix it into the other ingredients.

For the millet torte

1In a heavy-bottom saucepan, bring the milk to a boil with the oil, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour in the millet flakes, stir to combine, and cover with the lid. Remove from the heat and allow the millet flakes to swell for 10 minutes.

2Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks and nutmeg into the swollen millet flakes. In a clean, dry mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks. Carefully fold them into the millet mixture, taking care not to deflate it—it should remain light. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 20 minutes, until nicely golden on top. It will rise but flop slightly when removed from the oven. Do not turn out of the dish.

To serve

1In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pecans. Transfer to a bowl and reheat the vegetables in the same skillet. Spoon the topping with the pecans over the millet torte and serve in the baking dish.

CHEF’S NOTES

This dish was inspired by a recipe created by Michel Bras, a three Michelin star chef. It is an unusually light and tasty grain cake that you can vary over the seasons with the vegetables of your choice. You can also substitute buckwheat or oats for the millet.

From Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cuisine by Estérelle Payany (Flammarion, 2016). Photography © Nathalie Carnet.

FINAL TASTE BANNER

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