Asparagus is my favorite, because it’s the first vegetable to appear after the long, cold winter, and you can only enjoy it for a few weeks of the year. Green and crunchy, it tastes best quickly cooked in boiling water and served simply with a little butter and salt. This fresh, spring salad is excellent way to use asparagus. The base is hearty millet, with handfuls of spinach and pink radishes. It’s perfect as a side dish, or as a main with a bit of feta cheese sprinkled on top.
Bring two cups salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the millet; cook, covered, over low heat until all liquid has been absorbed, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, then add the asparagus and cook until bright green and tender, about three minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to the ice water to cool; drain, then pat dry with paper towels.
Place the millet, asparagus, radishes, onion, and spinach in a large bowl, sprinkle with the oil and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with more oil, top with mint leaves, if desired, and serve.
Editor’s note: To clean green asparagus from insects, the tips as well as the triangular side leaves should be cut off and discarded.
Recipe from Fresh from Poland: New Vegetarian Cooking from the Old Country © Michał Korkosz, 2020. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. experimentpublishing.com