Middle Eastern Millet Salad-in-a-Jar
- 1 cup millet, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1/3 cup hummus
- Juice of 1/2 lemon plus the remaining half, quartered
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
- 1 small green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled beetroot, diced
- 8 stuffed grape leaves, sliced into coins
- 1/2 cucumbers, diced
- 1 tablespoon za'atar spice blend (see Cook's Note)
- 1/2 cup french-fried onions
Make the millet: Bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the millet and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the millet until it's tender and all the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the oil, and fluff the millet with a fork. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The millet can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheated in the microwave.)
Make the yogurt-hummus sauce: Whisk together the yoghurt, hummus, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, 1/4 teaspoon salt and hot sauce in a small bowl.
Make the tomato-pepper salad: Stir together the tomatoes, peppers, parsley and a pinch of salt in another small bowl.
Assemble the salad: Using four 16-ounce wide-mouthed glass jars with lids, evenly divide the beets among the jars, then add the following in separate layers: the millet (press it down a little to make room), grape leaves, tomato-pepper salad, cucumbers and yoghurt-hummus sauce. Top each with a sprinkling of za'atar. Pack the french-fried onions (about 2 tablespoons per salad) and the lemon wedge in separate small containers for transporting.
Just before serving, transfer the jarred ingredients to a large bowl, add the onions and a squeeze of lemon juice and toss.
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You can find za'atar (a pungent Middle Eastern spice blend of thyme, marjoram, sumac and sesame seeds) in specialty stores or even in your neighborhood market-it's like magic dust!