Have you tried sorghum yet? Bob’s Red Mill asked me to create an original recipe using one of their ancient grains, and I took it as an opportunity to try something new. Sorghum is a gluten-free pseudo grain, like millet and quinoa. It’s actually a grass, but cooks up like a grain. It’s round like pearl couscous and a little chewy, like farro or wheat berries.
I’ve been using sorghum as a substitute in recipes that typically call for couscous (like tabouli), other small pasta shapes and whole grains like farro. It has been nice to offer my gluten-free friends something other than rice and quinoa. Bonus? My bag of sorghum cost only three dollars, which is significantly less than the same sized bags of quinoa and rice.
I like to geek out on ingredients, so I thought I’d share some of the more interesting facts I’ve learned about sorghum. It’s one of those surprising “grains” that doesn’t get much attention, even though it’s the fifth most important cereal crop in the world.
Sorghum first appeared near Egypt around 8000 years ago. It spread through Africa and eventually, China, via India. It’s grown primarily for human consumption in Africa and parts of Asia, but in the United States, it’s grown for livestock consumption and ethanol production. I happen to live in the state that produces the most sorghum of all, Kansas. We’ll probably hear more and more about sorghum as a crop, since it’s particularly drought resistant and requires less water than corn.
This recipe came to be after I got a hankering for sweet, roasted cherry tomatoes. I’m really excited about tomato season, so much so that I planted a cherry tomato plant in my back yard this weekend (grow, tomatoes, grow!). Once roasted, the cherry tomatoes turn from sweet-and-tart gems into concentrated sweet, saucy goodness.
I balanced the sweetness of the tomatoes with bitter arugula, and added sorghum for substance. Salty feta, lemon and garlic round out this hearty and healthy, gluten-free salad. Sorghum is one of the more time-consuming grains to cook, so plan on having a pot on the stove for an hour, but the rest comes together quickly. As always, see my notes for substitution and storage suggestions!
Roasted Cherry Tomato, Arugula and Sorghum Salad
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Salad
A light and healthy sorghum salad featuring roasted cherry tomatoes, arugula and feta (optional) tossed in a lemony dressing. This salad is gluten free and vegan, if you skip the cheese. If you’d like to turn this salad into a full meal, add chickpeas for protein.
- 1 cup sorghum, rinsed in a fine mesh colander
- 3 cups water
Roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups baby arugula*
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- First, cook the sorghum: Combine rinsed sorghum and three cups water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the sorghum is pleasantly tender but still has some chew to it, about 55 to 65 minutes. You can wait until the sorghum is halfway cooked before proceeding with the next steps.
- To roast the cherry tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Toss the whole cherry tomatoes with one tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft, plump and starting to burst open, about 18 minutes.
- To make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until emulsified.
- Once the sorghum is done cooking: Drain off any excess water and pour the cooked sorghum into a serving bowl. Pour in all of the dressing, all of the cherry tomatoes and their juices, the arugula*, feta, Parmesan and chickpeas (optional). Toss well and serve.
Make it vegan/dairy free: Omit the cheese.
*Storage suggestions: If you won’t be serving all of the salad in one sitting, store the arugula separately from the rest of the salad and mix the arugula into the sorghum salad just when you’re ready to serve. The sorghum salad should keep well, covered and refrigerated with the arugula stored separately, for a couple of days. Serve cold or reheat the sorghum before tossing in the arugula.
Change it up: Feel free to substitute cooked pasta (penne, spirals or pearl couscous would be good) or another whole grain for the sorghum (farro, wheat berries, quinoa, millet).
Prepare in advance: You can pre-cook the sorghum and reheat it just before adding the roasted cherry tomatoes and everything else. I bet that extra sorghum would freeze well, if you want to make extra for later.
If you love this recipe: You’ll also love my caprese pasta salad, Mediterranean pasta salad with raw squash and feta and quinoa tabouli.
▸ Nutrition Information
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill and I was compensated for recipe development. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cookie and Kate!
I’ve never seen sorghum for sale here but I’m on a mission to track it down – this salad sounds totally up my street.
Farah @ The Cooking Jar
Never heard of sorghum before, one hour is a long time to cook it! I wonder if it cooks well in a pressure cooker to reduce the time.
Good question, Farah! I’m afraid I don’t have any experience with pressure cookers, but it just might work.
I’ve never tasted sorghum, but I definitely want to try it now! This salad looks great!
Looks and sounds so delicious and healthy! I love baked roast cherry tomatos with olive oil, pepper, salt and balsamic vinegar!
How to Philosophize with Cake
I’ve never tried sorghum, but it sounds pretty interesting! Good to know it’s inexpensive, that always helps. :) I’ll have to try this salad, I love roasted tomatoes.
Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent
You had me at roasted cherry tomatoes. And arugula. Yum! :)
Thank you Kate! Try as I might, I just don’t like quinoa so I have been looking for a “new” gluten free grain to add into my rotation. I love farro and wheat berries because of their texture so I’m going to give this a try for sure!
Perfect! I think sorghum will be right up your alley, Christianna. :)
Yes, I really could use something other than couscous or quinoa! Not that I mind, but this sounds like a much-needed change-up. Glad you got to develop a recipe for it, I’m sold! Thanks for sharing, Kate!
Hope you love sorghum, Ala!
Abby @ Happy Food Happy Home
These tomatoes look so delicious! I have some on my counter that are going to meet a similar fate now.
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten sorghum, but I definitely remember my uncles feeding it to their cows. I am intrigued by the idea, as well as the relatively cheap price!
Victoria @ Vegelicacy
I have never seen sorghum before and I am quite sure that it’s not available in Russia, but it’s always interesting to learn smth new. Amazing recipe, Katie, I will def try it with quinoa, thank you for the idea!
I think you’ll love the recipe with quinoa, Victoria!
I am constantly surprised: all these people who are obviously interested in food and cooking have never heard of sorghum? Where have they been? Are they terribly young? Like babies? My grandchildren, all 10 of ’em all are comfortable in the kitchen, males as well as females. And I am referring to REAL everyday cooking! Some of them also bake but both my daughters-in-law & my daughter trusted their husbands to cook for as well as bathe, dress, read stories to, comfort when hurt etc. my grandchildren when they had to go out of town on business. Now the oldest 6 grandchildren are adults. They are lawyers, doctors, teachers & artists. 2 are married and at the next family wedding (this July) I am going to ask them if they’ve heard of sorghum. And have they cooked it? I’ll let you know what I find out!!
I’m looking forward to those answers, Ellen! I’ve heard my dad mention sorghum as a crop, but I’d never cooked it until recently.
Helen @ Scrummy Lane
Never tried sorghum either, but you’ve definitely convinced me to some time. I would definitely add the optional chickpeas. Another simple but super tasty salad – my favourite kind!
I’m another reader who has never eaten this. I do plan on trying it soon though.
Can you tell me if sorghum is high in protein like Quinoa?
Mary, great question. I just found a cool web page that gives a detailed comparison of the two, which you can find here: http://skipthepie.org/cereal-grains-and-pasta/sorghum/compared-to/quinoa-uncooked/. Sorghum has 11 grams of protein in a 100 gram serving, whereas quinoa has 14, but I’d say that’s still pretty good!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
Oh my, this is gorgeous! And thank you SO much for the 411 on sorghum! I have seen sorghum flour in the past, but not the whole grain itself. I need something for my “Try Something New Tuesday” feature next week, and I think you’ve just helped me decide what that is. Thanks Kate! :)
I think you’ll love the sorghum, Angela!
It’s 10am and I want this in my mouth/face already.
This salad sounds lovely and refreshing, and sorghum sounds super interesting! Anything that resembles Israeli couscous can definitely hang out in my kitchen. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for it the next time I need to replenish the grain supply.
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Roasted tomatoes always make salads better. Love this!
I’ve never eaten sorghum but I’ve seen it in health food shops. Nice to see that Bob’s have sorghum in their amazing range also! Love the ingredients that you’ve combined with it… roasted cherry tomatoes have become one of my recent fave things. The colours are fabulous! x
Samina | The Cupcake Confession
Sorghum is very popular here and we often make flatbreads from sorghum flour and eat with garlic and onion chutney. I loveeeee this idea of transforming it into a salad! I’ve never eaten sorghum in its whole form and cannot wait to give this a try! :)
Well, now I want to try your sorghum flatbreads! Sounds delicious.
I’ve never tried it but I’m totally intrigued! Thanks for sharing it with us :)
Amazing pictures, everything looks so delicious!
Isadora @ she likes food
Not to sound like a broken record, but I have never tried sorghum either. I’m always looking for new grains to cook with though! Roasted cherry tomatoes are one of my favorite things ever, so I know that I would love this salad :)
J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
Looks so much like cous cous! I love the taste/texture of cous cous but don’t like using it often as it is after all just like pasta. Will have to look out for sorghum.
Sarah @ Seriously Lovely
I’ve never tried sorghum before, but this salad looks so delicious that I’m going to have to try to find it now. And I can’t wait for my vegetables to hurry up and grow, either!
I’ve never had this before but I’m going to go searching my small-town groceries for Sorghum! Thanks for the recipe. It looks delicious!
Can’t wait to try sorghum myself! YUM!
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
I haven’t tried sorghum but this salad looks just perfect for summer – love those juicy roasted tomatoes!
Tessa | Balancing Active
I’ve been using lots of sorghum flour in GF baked goods–it works AMAZING at replicating a true gluten-y texture, especially in muffins. I’ve seen this on the shelf, and now that I’ve been equipped with a recipe I may just have to try it! Great idea on subbing for cous cous.
Cool! I’m glad to know that sorghum flour works well in baked goods. I’m going to mention that to my GF baker friends!
I’ve never tried sorghum, but I definitely want to taste it! This salad looks DELICIOUS!
Can I just say I think it’s awesome that you have a post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill because I actually love them. Love their products, love their history.
Thanks, Kathleen! I appreciate it.
Kate @Almond Butter Binge
Always excited to hear about another gluten-free grain :) I use quinoa in place of couscous a lot…sorghum sounds like it would be another great option. Thanks for sharing!
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
Yummy! I’ve just started using sorghum flour in my cooking, but I’ve never tried the whole grass/grass seed (?) (whatever) before. I will have to try and find it in my local health food shop because everything about this recipe is calling my name! Thanks Kate :)
I’ve never seen Sorghum here in the UK before, but I had heard of it before. When I work out the best substitution for arugula is (also doesn’t exist over here) ill make it with cous cous tho! And I admire you for growing your own! I hate gardening and am perfectly happy buying my produce from the store.
Hey Ana, can you find rocket in the UK? Arugula is rocket.
Whoever didn’t tell me this long before now is a cruel, cruel internet search. Seriously. Thanks a lot. Big bag of fresh rocket here I come!!!!
Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
This looks wonderful! I have a bag of sorghum to try out – this looks like a great way to dive in!
Pretty sure this is what I want my summer to look like. Bowls and bowls and bowls of this. Plus ice cream.
This looks delicious!!! I’ll definitely make this recipe some time next week.
My sorghum is currently cooking right now and I’m so excited to try it!! I’m doing a green bean, chickpea, scallion & parsley salad with your lemon tahini dressing I found on an old post. If you see it on IG later consider it a success ;)
Hope the salads turned out great, Rachel!
The husband came back with a giant bag of cherry tomatoes from our CSA this weekend, and about half were already splitting. Thankfully I saw this recipe! I cooked down double the tomatoes and folded all of it into quinoa with the dressing, which was creamy and delicious, especially over the spicy arugula. I’m already looking forward to the leftovers!
I’ll be trying this sans cheese (do you have any substitution suggestions for lactose-intolerant eaters?) It looks delicious!
Btw, tabbouleh is traditionally made with wheat bulgar, but sorghum looks like a nice gluten-free option. ;}
Stumbled onto this and had to try it. Didn’t have arugula on hand (although my favorite green) and used bok choy instead. Yum!