I like dishes that are flavorful but simple, and that’s what I had in mind when I devised this Mediterranean Sorghum Salad recipe for The Seattle Times. I’d been meaning to experiment with sorghum grain for quite a while, having read about it here and there, but when the offer of free samples came my way, I decided the time was now (I also have some sorghum flour and sorghum syrup that I need to play with).
I was really pleased with the texture of the sorghum when it cooked up. While farro remains my favorite whole grain for grain-based salads, quite honestly sorghum is nipping at farro’s heels. When I had a patient who experience a quasi-failure with a quinoa salad (the quinoa was soggy instead of fluffy, something that’s happened to me, too), I recommended sorghum (they are both gluten-free, unlike farro, so that’s handy). I ate this salad for three days, and it held up great.
I used Wondergrain whole-grain sorghum, because that was the brand I was sent, but other brands will work, too, of course. For Seattle shoppers, I’ve been informed by a reader that QFC does not carry sorghum (she thought I should have given stores a “head’s up” that my article was coming out, but QFC is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, and I don’t think I have that much influence!), but PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods will. Or, you can order from Bob’s Red Mill. (I’ve previously expressed my abiding affection for Bob’s Red Mill, not just for its quality products, but for the company itself.)
The recipe from the Times is posted below, and you can also find it on the Simply Sorghum website. While you’re there, browse around for more sorghum recipes and nutrition information (“10 reasons to try sorghum“). Also, call me crazy, but I think this Couscous Salad with Dried Apricots and Preserved Lemon from The New York Times would be perfect with sorghum substituted for the Israeli couscous (don’t get me wrong, I enjoy couscous, but contrary to popular belief, it’s pasta, not an intact grain). I’ll let you know if I try it (and maybe I’ll try both versions just to see what difference it makes).
Mediterranean Sorghum Salad
About 6-8 servings
This salad makes a flavorful side dish or stand-alone salad entrée. If serving as an entrée, serve over arugula or other greens. Leftovers pack well in a mason jar for a brown-bag lunch (because everything tastes better in a mason jar, even if you’re not a hipster).
- 1 cup whole-grain sorghum
- 4 cups water
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (can swap part of this for fresh oregano or basil)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain the sorghum. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan, then add the sorghum. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool sorghum to room temperature, fluffing with a fork occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing and prep the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the next four ingredients (chickpeas through green onions). Add the cooked sorghum and gently stir to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the contents and stir again. Add the cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and feta and gently fold to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and serve.