Favorite Fall Dishes from Chef Contos


As the temperatures begin to change and fall arrives, earthy grains bring comfort and warmth to our cooking. We love to explore Healthy Living’s Bulk section for inspiration and create some of our favorite fall dishes. This recipe is easy and welcomes a nice caponata toping.

Toasted Millet “Polenta”
1 cup of millet, rinsed
4 cups hot water or stock
Sea salt
About 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
Toast the millet in a dry pan over medium heat: shuffle the pan back and forth slowly until the millet smells warm and inviting and has just begun to color and pop. Immediately pour it into a heavy saucepan and add the water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover, turn down the heat to low, and cook for about 25 minutes. Give it a stir every so often to make sure it isn’t sticking. Once it’s soft and the texture is fairly uniform, remove the lid, raise the heat, and stir vigorously until the moisture is fully absorbed. Add the butter and Parmesan to taste and season with salt, if needed, and pepper. The millet should be thick but may not be perfectly smooth.
Eat the millet just as it, warm and soft, or pour it into a baking dish and leave to set. Cut the firm millet into pieces and brown them.
1 pound eggplant, diced small
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon capers, slightly chopped
¼ cup currants
½ cup olives, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons tomato paste
¼  cup water
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons roasted pine nuts (roast at 350 degrees for 5 min)
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then cook eggplant, onion and celery until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add garlic and sauté one minute more.  Add currants, capers, olives, vinegar, tomato paste and water; cover and simmer about 20 minutes.  Add parsley and pine nuts and season to taste.  Serve over toasted millet polenta.
By Healthy Living Taste Maker Courtney Contos, of Chef Contos Kitchen and Store
65 Falls Rd., Shelburne, VT 05482
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