Have you ever had sorghum? When Bob’s Red Mill requested me to develop a unique dish utilizing one of their ancient grains, I seized the chance to experiment. Like millet and quinoa, sorghum is a pseudograin that contains no gluten. Although it cooks like a grain, it is actually a grass. It is somewhat chewy and shaped like farro or wheat berries, similar to pearl couscous.
In dishes that usually call for couscous (like tabouli), various little pasta shapes, and healthy grains like farro, I’ve been using sorghum as a substitute. Offering my gluten-free pals alternatives to rice and quinoa has been lovely. Bonus? I paid $3 for my bag of sorghum, which is much less than the same amount of quinoa and rice.
I enjoy obsessing over foods, so I decided to share some of the more fascinating information I’ve discovered about sorghum. Despite being the fifth-most significant cereal crop in the world, it is one of those unexpected “grains” that receives little attention.
Near Egypt, sorghum initially emerged about 8000 years ago. It subsequently spread to China via India to Africa. In Africa and some regions of Asia, it is predominantly produced for human use, whereas in the United States, it is grown for animal consumption and ethanol production. I’m lucky enough to reside in Kansas, the state that produces the most sorghum overall. Given that sorghum is exceptionally drought tolerant and uses less water than corn, we’ll certainly hear more and more about it as a crop in the future.
I had a craving for sweet, roasted cherry tomatoes, which led to the creation of this recipe. I planted a cherry tomato plant in my backyard this past weekend since I’m so eager for tomato season. Grow, tomatoes, grow! The sweet-and-tart cherry tomatoes are transformed into concentrated sweet, saucy delight once they are roasted.
I used the sharp arugula to counteract the sweetness of the tomatoes, and I added sorghum for weight. This filling and healthful salad is gluten-free and rounded off with salty feta, lemon, and garlic. Plan on having a pot on the stove for an hour to cook the sorghum, one of the most labor-intensive grains, but the rest comes together quickly. As usual, my notes contain suggestions for storage and substitute!
- 1 cup sorghum, rinsed in a fine mesh colander
- 3 cups water
Roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups baby arugula*
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- First, cook the sorghum: Combine rinsed sorghum and three cups water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the sorghum is pleasantly tender but still has some chew to it, about 55 to 65 minutes. You can wait until the sorghum is halfway cooked before proceeding with the next steps.
- To roast the cherry tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Toss the whole cherry tomatoes with one tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft, plump and starting to burst open, about 18 minutes.
- To make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until emulsified.
- Once the sorghum is done cooking: Drain off any excess water and pour the cooked sorghum into a serving bowl. Pour in all of the dressing, all of the cherry tomatoes and their juices, the arugula*, feta, Parmesan and chickpeas (optional). Toss well and serve.