Today, Shauna's letting us in on a secret the rest of the world has already discovered: sorghum is a stand-out in the world of whole grains.
Shop the Story
The first time we cooked sorghum, my husband did a little jig. "I've been looking for a replacement for Israeli couscous. Here it is!"
Of course, sorghum is not Israeli couscous. They don't taste the same, and Israeli couscous contains gluten. But sorghum has the same size and look of Israeli couscous, so it works as an interesting surprise in its place.
However, sorghum doesn't need to be compared to anything else. It is its own whole-grain star.
Most people will look at you funny if you ask if they enjoy sorghum. Until recently, it was primarily grown as feed for livestock in the United States. However, in the rest of the world, especially in Africa, sorghum is widely used to make porridge, flour, and beer. As is true for many grains, sorghum spread through the world via the Silk Trade, and was eventually cultivated in China and India. An Indian flatbread called roti is made with sorghum flour.
I like popping sorghum like popcorn. Get a cast-iron skillet hot, toss in some whole-grain sorghum, and watch the little balls dance and pop on the hot surface. Splash some warm milk over the hot sorghum, with a drizzle of honey, and perhaps some toasted walnut pieces. Breakfast.
Sorghum is full of dietary fiber, which we all need. And it also makes a wonderful flour for gluten-free baking. Its nutty, slightly sweet taste and its high protein percentage has made it part of my baking mix for years.
If you've never tried whole-grain sorghum before, I'd suggest you try it first in recipes that call for wheat berries or Israeli couscous. Once you start playing, you might not stop.
How to Cook Sorghum
3 cups water 1 cup sorghum 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pour the water into a large pot. Add the sorghum, olive oil, and salt. Set the pot on high heat. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the sorghum simmer, covered, until the it is soft and still chewy, about one hour. If, for some reason, the sorghum grains are still hard after all the water is absorbed, add another cup of water and continue cooking.
Shauna writes about food. Danny cooks it.
We grow excited every Saturday morning to go to the farmers' market. This time of year, a Billy Allstot tomato is enough to make us look like goons at the stand, jumping up and down with excitement. We will eat one slice with sea salt, standing over the sink. Another goes to our baby daughter. The rest might go into the smoker to make smoked tomato salsa, or thrown together with watermelon and good olive oil for a watermelon gazpacho, or stacked with smoked salmon and drizzled with horseradish sour cream.
Every day is new. I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight. But I'm sure interested to find out.