If you’ve never tried sorghum (a hearty, chewy grain), this is the perfect entryway salad: it’s used in two ways so you can taste its full potential. First, the grain is cooked in boiling salted water (similar to how you would cook farro or barley) until tender. After tossing the cooked grains with a variety of fresh herbs, Bibb lettuce, and a simple homemade basil oil, you’ll top the salad with popped sorghum, which is basically tiny popcorn. We love it as a cute, crunchy, and healthier alternative to croutons, but popped sorghum has uses way beyond salad. Use it to sprinkle onto soups or tossed into a trail mix.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, divided
¼ cup plus 1½ tsp. olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1¼ cups uncooked sorghum, divided
4 cups torn Bibb lettuce (from 1 head lettuce)
½ cup packed dill sprigs, chopped (from 1 [¾-oz.] package)
½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
Sat fat 2.49g
How to Make It
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add ½ cup of the basil, and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer basil to a blender or food processor, reserving boiling salted water in pot. Pulse basil until finely chopped, about 10 pulses. Add ¼ cup of the oil and 1 pinch each of the salt and pepper. Process until smooth (a few larger pieces of basil may remain). Pour basil oil through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids, and set aside.
Add 1 cup of the sorghum to reserved boiling salted water in pot; reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until tender, 50 to 55 minutes. Drain sorghum, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Transfer sorghum to a large bowl. Add lettuce, dill, and cilantro. Tear remaining ½ cup basil into bite-size pieces. Add torn basil and a pinch each of salt and pepper to bowl; toss to combine. Drizzle with basil oil, and toss to coat.
Wipe pot clean, and heat over medium-high. When hot, add 1 teaspoon of the oil, and swirl to coat. Add remaining ¼ cup sorghum; cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook, shaking pot continuously, until popping slows, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard any unpopped sorghum kernels; toss popped sorghum with remaining ½ teaspoon oil and a pinch salt. Sprinkle salad with popped sorghum.
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