Sometimes simple ingredients come together to create a flavor combination that makes your heart sing. This cherry and almond salad does that for me. Sweet summer cherries, sharp red onions, fragrant mint and cilantro, crunchy almonds, bright citrus, and soft, satisfying grains make for an impressive dish, perfect for batch cooking, company, or potlucks.
For the grain in this salad, you can use millet, quinoa, or a combination of both. Millet is an ancient seed that has been gaining popularity lately in the western world. Traditional in Africa and Asia, this little seed is staple in the diets of about a third of the world’s population. It has a neutral, mildly nutty flavor and is naturally gluten-free. Similar to quinoa, millet cooks quickly because of the small size and a fun versatile grain if you’re looking to mix up your grains. If you don’t have any millet, feel free to just use quinoa in this salad.
- 1/4 cup 2 oz millet, dry
- 1/4 cup 2 oz quinoa, dry
- 1/2 cup 4 oz dry roasted almonds
- 2 Tbsp 1 oz olive oil
- 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3-4 mint leaves
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer the millet and quinoa in a saucepan with a 1:2 ratio of grains to water until fully cooked and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes or so, with the lid on. Fluff with a fork and set aside. Chill, if serving cold.
- Remove the pits from the cherries. (I recommend a cherry pitting tool or a helpful friend or family member)
- Toss the rest of the ingredients together with the grains in a large bowl.
- Keeps well in the fridge for a few days.