Millet & mushroom risotto

Styling: Carlie Monasso. Photography: Samara Clifford


I have a crush.  She’s an ancient grain.  She’s a great source of protein, fibre, B vitamins and magnesium.  She’s got a beautiful nutty flavour,  she’s fluffy and creamy when cooked. Heck, she’s even gluten free! Her name is millet.  I’ve been experimenting with her in the kitchen and I think she is my new favourite grain.

Alas, she has reignited a love affair I had back in my uni days with risotto – I think it was just about all I ever cooked.  It was always a taste sensation but it never left me feeling good.  But this Italian classic has made it’s way back into my kitchen thanks to this wondrous grain.

Cook her up with the amazing varieties of mushrooms we have at our disposal in winter and you have yourself a seriously nourishing and tasty twist on this classic comfort food.  The addition of miso paste not only amps up the flavour but the health benefits  too – it contains probiotics that boost your healthy gut bacteria and immune system as well as aiding in the digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

I guess you could call this a cheat’s risotto – I haven’t used the traditional absorption method, instead opting for time saving and ease.

Styling: Carlie Monasso. Photography: Samara Clifford

Styling: Carlie Monasso. Photography: Samara Clifford

You will need:
1 cup organic millet, soaked overnight*
1 small brown onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup pine mushrooms** (approximately 100g)
1 cup swiss button mushrooms** (approximately 100g)
80g enoki mushrooms**
2 tablespoons organic cold pressed sesame oil (or extra virgin olive oil, or butter)
2 tablespoons unpasteurised white miso paste*** (sold in fridge)
3 cups gluten free vegetable stock (I use Vecon concentrated stock, available in most health food stores)

For garnish/to accompany
Pine nuts, toasted
Labneh (or nut cheese for a dairy free alternative)
Cooked silverbeet

What to do:
1. Cook the millet in 3 cups of broth, bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat until it has absorbed the water and is light and fluffy (cooking time will vary depending on how long you’ve soaked it for).

2.  Heat sesame oil in a fry pan, cook the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add the mushrooms, stirring to cook.   Add the millet and the miso paste stirring for a further minute or so.

3. Serve in bowls, sprinkle with pine nuts and a dollop of labneh.

Story image 2

Styling: Carlie Monasso. Photography: Samara Clifford

* Any variety and combination of mushrooms will do
**soaking your grains before you cook them makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients
*** Buy unpasteurised miso paste because pasteurising kills the microbes which contain the health benefits, and stir it into the dish at the end to preserve the live cultures.


Know someone who would like this recipe?  Why not share the mushie love with them too (pardon the pun!).

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Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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