Millet Salad With Butter Beans, Okra, And Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes


Bring the flavors and vegetables of summer to one dish.

Millet Salad with Butter Beans, Okra, and Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes in a serving bowl with serving spoons.

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Active Time:
45 mins
Soak Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 20 mins
6 Servings

A grain salad loaded with Southern summer produce is exactly the kind of side dish we reach for when the weather warms up.

The flavor of the marinated tomatoes in this salad are the right balance of spicy, savory, and tangy, and their juices combined with the marinade make for a vibrant vinaigrette. The Scotch bonnet chile in the marinade imparts a welcomed subtle, fruity heat throughout the salad.

The central ingredient grounding those components is the millet, an ancient grain, filled with nutty flavor. Although in lieu of millet, quinoa, or bulgur wheat would work as well. If you’ve never worked with the grain, we have a few pointers. Millet turns from al dente to overcooked in a manner of minutes, so you’ll want to taste the millet as it gets close to finishing cooking. Thoroughly chilling and slightly undercooking the millet results in the fluffiest final product possible.


  • 1/2 cup dried butter beans

  • 1 medium red onion, unpeeled

  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus more for salting water

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1 cup uncooked millet

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus fronds for garnish

  • 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard

  • 2 tsp. honey

  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. grated garlic

  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, divided

  • 1 fresh small Scotch bonnet chile, halved and unseeded

  • 4 tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges

  • 8 oz. fresh okra, sliced lengthwise (2 1/2 cups)

  • Pinch of ground nutmeg


  1. Soak beans:

    Place beans in a medium bowl. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Soak 8 to 12 hours; drain and set aside.

  2. Cook beans:

    Cut unpeeled onion in half. Place 1 onion half in a large pot. Add 12 cups water, beans, kosher salt, and bay leaf to onion in pot. Bring to a boil over high. Boil until beans are tender but slightly al dente, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain beans, discarding onion half and bay leaf.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. Prepare millet:

    While bean mixture cooks, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high. Stir millet into boiling water. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until millet is tender but slightly al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain millet, and spread evenly over prepared baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, until millet is cold and dry, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  4. Marinate tomatoes:

    While millet cools, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, chopped fresh dill, mustard, honey, thyme, ginger, black pepper, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the fine sea salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 Scotch bonnet chile half, and press on chile with back of spoon to release oils; reserve remaining half for another use. Add tomatoes, and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature 20 minutes.

  5. Finish salad:

    Peel and thinly slice remaining onion half; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in beans, millet, okra, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. Using a slotted spoon, add tomatoes to millet; toss to coat. Drizzle evenly with tomato-marinating liquid. Garnish with nutmeg and dill fronds.

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