If you saw last week's recipe, you probably noticed a theme here. Dried cranberries and pickled onions are making a repeat appearance this week, and for good reason. This is a festive salad/grain combo side dish, perfect for my fellow Americans celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday or for any of us gathering around a holiday meal in the coming month. With massaged kale, whole grains, toasted pecans, chewy cranberries, pickled onions, and a creamy French dressing, this is a welcome fresh, and colorful addition to the usual brown and beige dishes that show up on the table each year. Or alternatively, make this for a pre or post-holiday meal and your and your diner's tummies will thank you for it.
As mentioned last week, I like making a big batch of quick-pickled onions for storing in the fridge and adding to all sorts of meals for a quick flavor boost. This is one such meal. The pickled onions elevate the salad, adding contrasting crunch and a sweet-tart flavor that I absolutely love. For the grain, I chose to change things up and add variety to the grain salads in the archives. Sorghum is a staple in many African nations and becoming more popular here. A gluten-free, ancient grain rich in amino acids, antioxidants, iron, and B vitamins, sorghum is the size of pearled (or Israeli) couscous and chewy like farro, spelt or wheat berries. If you can't find it please don't let that hold you back from making this! You can substitute quinoa, millet, brown rice, freekeh, or cauliflower rice for an equally delicious gluten-free salad.
On a more personal note, I've been trying to make sense of the world these past few weeks. I've been shocked and heartbroken, post-election. Despite a nation divided, my hope for this holiday season is that we gather around the table with peaceful thoughts and open hearts.
As I've said before, I deeply believe that food transcends language, culture, race, and other "perceived differences". It's one of our greatest and much-needed equalizers in this world. We connect, bridge gaps, and convey love through food, especially when sharing food that loves us back. So why not share something like today's recipe that will be kind to all - humankind, the environment, and animals alike.
Love and light, my friends.
~ Katie, xo
Sorghum Salad with Massaged Kale, Dried Cranberries & Pecans
Notes: You can replace sorghum with quinoa, millet, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. If gluten is not a concern, spelt or wheat berries or farro are other options. Soaking sorghum in advance is optional but preferable, as it significantly reduces cooking time.
- 1 cup (196 gr) sorghum (soaked overnight, preferably)
- 5 large stalks of kale (~135 gr. - weighed de-stemmed)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup (37 gr.) dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup (47 gr.) pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup (62 gr) quick pickled onions
- 1/4 tsp. salt + black pepper to taste
- Creamy French Vinaigrette (recipe below)
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add sorghum and cook at a strong simmer, covered, for 30-50 minutes, until tender. Rinse and drain. (Cooking time will depend on whether sorghum was pre-soaked.)
- De-stem kale and roughly tear or chop leaves. Add leaves to a large mixing bowl with lemon, a pinch of salt, and drizzle of olive oil. Massage kale until soft - volume should reduce by half.
- Roughly chop toasted pecans and add to kale along with dried cranberries, pickled onions, cooked sorghum, salt and pepper. Toss in half the dressing; add more to taste and/or pass at the table.
Creamy French Vinaigrette
- 6 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. vegan mayonnaise (or tahini/plain yogurt)
- Heaped 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. honey (or maple syrup)
- Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a screw-on lid. With lid in place, shake well to combine. If using tahini, add water to thin as needed.