Lemony Sorghum Salad with Leeks and Asparagus

My gluten free grain tour continued this week, as I recipe tested this delicious spring sorghum salad.  Sorghum is an excellent substitute for wheat, it’s gluten free and makes a perfect sub in for couscous. It has a firm bite and a subtetly nutty flavor that lends itself to pairing well with all types of seasonal vegetables.  The inspiration for this salad comes from Edible Perspective (photo credit), using spring leeks and asparagus, this sorghum salad is tossed in a light lemony dressing and finished with crunchy toasted sunflower seeds.  It’s a little bit of spring in a bowl – for an easy weeknight dinner, top with organic chicken breast, grilled wild shrimp, or sauteed tempeh.

Lemony Sorghum Salad with Leeks and Asparagus

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill sorghum

1 T. organic extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, pressed or finely chopped

2 large leeks, thinly sliced

1lb thick stalk asparagus, chopped or ribboned with mandoline

3 cups arugula, chopped

1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

Dressing:

1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 T. Bragg’s apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 medium shallot, minced

1 T. maple syrup

pinch sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions:

Soak sorghum in a bowl of water 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Place in a pot covered with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to constantly simmer (uncovered) for about 35-45 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep sorghum covered. Remove from heat when cooked to your liking. (If you don’t pre-soak, cook sorghum for 50-65 minutes. Taste for doneness.) Drain water and place in a large bowl.

While sorgum cooks, prepare dressing by adding 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice and zest (zest first, then juice), apple cider vinegar, parsley, shallot, maple syrup, salt and pepper into a blender and emulsify (or alternatively, shake well to blend).

Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat with tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, add sliced leeks with a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add asparagus and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until bright green and starting to soften. Remove from heat.

Combine just cooked asparagus with sorghum and arugula. Pour dressing over top and toss to combine. Add salt + pepper to taste. Top with toasted sunflower seeds and serve immediately.

Can also be served chilled, simply toss all ingredients and add sunflower seeds right before serving.