September 16, 2012

Sorghum Risotto with Greens

Count on me, when spending a long weekend on the Delaware shore, to stumble on Bethany Beach's lone health food store/tea shop. Like a moth to a flame. After drinking my cup of ginger tea and eating an incredibly delicious blueberry muffin, I browsed the aisles to see if there was anything I had to have. Of course there was. A few things. Waiting in line to check out, I eyed a small sale rack. That is where I found the sorghum.

As far as I know, I've never eaten sorghum before. But, since I was about to embark on a two-week gluten free experiment, I thought I should give it a try. And now that I've tried it, I definitely recommend it. It is hearty and nutty. A bit like quinoa in its flavor, but more substantial. Once cooked, it resembles israeli couscous. But it has much more flavor.

Be forewarned (as I would have been had I read the entire package or read the entire blog post that I got this recipe from) it takes a very long time to cook. Two plus hours. You can soak it overnight, which speeds up the cooking time to about forty minutes.

So it doesn't make a great last minute weeknight meal, but it is a fine substitute for other gluton-y grains, and, in fact, I think I prefer it to couscous (though probably not to barley).

- Franklin

Sorghum Risotto with Greens
Adapted from Eating Appalachia
Total Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty factor: 4; Sweetness factor: 2; Indulgence Factor: 3; Chance I'll Make it Again: 7.

1 cup sorghum
6-8 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 large onion (diced)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 large carrots
2 large portobello mushrooms
a bunch of chard (or kale)

Put half the onion in garlic in a medium sauce pan over low heat and sauté until the onions begin to wilt. Add half the olive oil. Saute another five or ten minutes until the onions are soft. Add the sorghum, stir, and cook for a minute or so. Add a cup of the veggie broth, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is absorbed. Add another cup. Continue in this manner until the sorghum is nearly done (to your taste). For the last cut of liquid, use the coconut milk. This will take about forty minutes if you have pre-soaked. Otherwise, it will take about two hours. Possibly a bit more.

When there is about a half hour to go on the sorghum. Put the remaining onion and carrot in another pan. Saute until the onions begin to wilt. Add the oil and the garlic. Saute another five minutes or so. Add all the spices. And the mushrooms. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the veggies are all soft. Carefully rinse and loosely chop the chard. Add to the veggies (with a splash of water if the mix is fairly dry), put the lid on and cook for about five minutes.

Toss the sorghum and the veggies together. Enjoy!