About two weeks ago I had the privilege of being photographed by Maggie and Joel Ross of Joel Bear Studios. They are this rad couple from southern California that we met through mutual friends back in our previous home of Orange County. On their most recent trip here to Colorado we developed a most cherished friendship which I am so grateful for. As amazing adventure and lifestyle photographers, with family both in California and Colorado, they travel back and forth between the two states photographing jaw dropping natural beauty. They also have a knack for capturing people in their element, as you can tell by the lovely photos they graced me with in this post. When they asked to do a little editorial shoot of me in our tiny apartment cooking up a little something I was so surprised, excited, and nervous all at the same time. Being in front of the camera in our little place feeling totally exposed was a good experience for me. Plus Maggie and Joel made it feel so natural and comfortable. Even with messy hair, old faded flannel, chipped nail polish, and all.
At first I was going to make ice cream for the shoot, but the special cones I had ordered hadn’t arrived in the mail yet, so I decided cupcakes. Then the cupcakes baked up with craters for centers that morning. So I changed up my plans last minute that day with something green, fresh, and made in these parts so often it is silly that I have yet to post about it here. Most nights I cook up a grain salad. Usually involving lentils or a big green veggie, such as the asparagus here. A mixture of fresh and dried herbs is perfect for us. The dried herbs are something you almost always have on hand, and you are just one lemon and a bunch of parsley away from creating something so fresh and simple. We love the hardy texture of millet in our vegetable salads, and the feeling of spring that asparagus brings to a dish. Plus, there are very few ways to mess this one up. Seeing as I almost never measure anything for these types of salads and they always turn out spectacular. I decided, however, to pull out the pad and pen to record this simple recipe for you guys and hope you have a night soon where you can enjoy its freshness as we welcome spring here in a few weeks (!!!).
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!
Tid-bits: I love the texture of millet with asparagus in this dish, however, if you prefer quinoa or another grain feel free to try it as well! I also make this dish quite often with green beans instead of asparagus, both are terrific. Served hot or cold, this salad is a household favorite.
Serves two for dinner, three for lunch.
1/2 cup millet
1 cup water
1 bunch asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 large garlic clove
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh parsley
Begin by cooking the millet. Combine the millet with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and let cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 20 to 25 minutes). Leave covered and remove from heat once finished cooking. Let it set and finish steaming for another ten minutes before fluffing with a fork and tossing in the salad.
While the millet is steaming, wash and trim the asparagus. Cut into thirds (about 3 inch pieces) and place in a steamer basket on the stove in a medium size sauce pan filled with a little water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and steam until tender (about 5 minutes).
For the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Mince the garlic clove and add to the dressing mixture as well. Set aside until ready.
Rinse, dry, and roughly chop the bunch of fresh parsley and set aside (I usually chop off the thick stems and roughly chop the leafy top).
When millet and asparagus are finished cooking, combine both in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the fresh parsley and lightly toss. Give the dressing a whisk and toss into the salad as well. Give it a good mix/toss using two large utensils (or your hands). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add a little more lemon juice or olive oil if too dry. Plate and top with a handful of raw pistachios (whole or roughly chopped). This salad is lovely served warm, or can be chilled and served cold as well (great for a pack lunch, but I would recommend using green beans for the veggie or undercooking the asparagus so it doesn’t become mushy).
Thank you Joel and Maggie for capturing me in my home this afternoon. All photos by Joel Bear Studios.