Warm Sorghum Salad With Pickled Beets

warm-sorghum-salad-with-pickled-beets

“Sorghum is an ancient African grain that came here through the transatlantic slave trade; Gullah farmers in South Carolina have continued its legacy,” notes chef Maricela Vega, the chef at Atlanta restaurant 8ARM and founder of Chicomecóatl, an organization centering the foodways of Indigenous diaspora. “It’s nutty and chewy and good for agroecology—providing positive benefits to soil and ultimately helping to reverse the effects of climate change. In colder months I pair it with hardy greens for their high mineral content. Spicy guajillo oil, zesty pickled beets, and lush sesame crème round out a perfect winter grain bowl. No sorghum? Sub wheat berries or even brown rice in a pinch.”

Ingredients

4 Servings

Sorghum

2

cups sorghum, soaked overnight, drained

2

sprigs thyme, marjoram, or oregano

2

bay leaves

8

cups vegetable stock or water

2

Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

Guajillo Oil

4

dried guajillo chiles, halved, seeds removed

1

tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more

4

whole black peppercorns

1

¼

cup apple cider vinegar

Assembly

2

Tbsp. (or more) grapeseed oil

1

large bunch mustard greens (about 1 lb.), coarsely chopped

2

Tbsp. cilantro leaves with tender stems

cups mixed tender herb leaves (such as parsley, mint, and/or dill), plus more for serving

1

1

Preparation

Sorghum

Step 1

Bring sorghum, thyme, bay leaves, stock, and salt to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sorghum is tender, 80–90 minutes. Drain and transfer sorghum to a large bowl. Pick out and discard thyme and bay leaves.

Guajillo Oil

Step 2

Place chiles and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl. Pour 2 cups hot water over chiles and cover; let sit 15 minutes to soften.

Step 3

Drain chiles and transfer to a blender; add peppercorns, allium oil, and vinegar. Blend on high speed until smooth and bright red; season with salt. Pour over sorghum, tossing to coat. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

Assembly

Step 4

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add mustard greens a handful at a time, letting wilt slightly before adding more. Cook, stirring occasionally and adding more oil if needed, until wilted and charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Add greens to sorghum and toss to combine, then toss in cilantro and 1½ cups tender herbs.

Step 5

Smear Sesame Crème in shallow bowls, dividing evenly; mound sorghum salad over and top with Pickled Beets and more tender herbs.

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