Sorghum is technically a grass (but for culinary purposes is classified as a grain) that is native to Africa, and was introduced to to the U.S. in the 1800s. It’s always been an important food crop around the world, but in the U.S., it’s been used primarily as animal feed. The exception to this is in the U.S. South, where sorghum molasses is a traditional sweetener, used much in the same way as honey or maple syrup. However, with the rising interest in gluten-free and ancient grains, sorghum is becoming more and more popular as human food in the U.S.
The great thing about sorghum, apart from the fact that it’s gluten free, is that it doesn’t have an outer shell that has to be removed to make it edible. That means that it’s a whole food, and that means that it’s healthy and just plain awesome.
Sorghum is quite dense, has a chewy texture, and a nutty flavor, and can be combined with just about any ingredients. I decided to make a pilaf-style dish with vegetables and red sorghum, which has a lovely reddish blush on it. Give it a try.
Makes 6 servings.
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
½ cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup sorghum grain
1 tablespoon white wine
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chopped green beans, steamed*
1 cup peas
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley
Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and saute until translucent. Add garlic and carrots and cook until softened.
Add broth and bring to a boil; lower heat, cover, and let simmer until sorghum is cooked, about 30 minutes. Add green beans, peas, remaining salt, and pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
*If green beans are raw, put in with broth.