This Sorghum, Orange and Asparagus Salad is perfect as a side dish. It can also be served in larger portions for a healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian meal!
I am a collector of cookbooks, and am always looking for new ones to get my hands on. In addition to the recipes and photography, little details always bring my joy: the feel of the paper, the raised texted on the cover, and design elements such as font and color schemes. When Emma Galloway sent me a copy of her first cookbook, My Darling Lemon Thyme—Recipes from My Real Food Kitchen, I was immediately smitten. It’s a gorgeous book.
It has a similar look and feel to her blog of the same name. Both are full of healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian meals accompanied by vibrant food photography. Everything looks and sounds incredible. The book is divided into chapters for breakfast, small plates, sweets, main courses, drinks and frozen treats, and so on and so forth. There’s also a very thorough ingredient section at the beginning that covers various gluten-free kitchen staples. I think this is a wonderful cookbook to get your hands on if your either new to gluten-free cooking or have been at it for awhile. There’s something for everyone.
So many recipes spoke to me! There are sweet potato and kale latkes with poached eggs; savory corn, cilantro + feta muffins; dark chocolate coconut bites; homemade pizzas… chickpea falafel wraps… I settled on making Emma’s Quinoa, Orange + Asparagus Salad.
I bought everything I needed except for quinoa, since I incorrectly thought I had a bag at home. I won’t go into my whole spiel again, but if you read the blog regularly you know I’m on a big “use what I have” kick right now, so instead of heading back to the store, I decided to swap out the quinoa for sorghum, another gluten-free whole grain. If you’ve never used sorghum, I highly recommend giving it a try, especially if quinoa isn’t your thing. It’s a larger grain so it stays more toothsome after cooking. It added a wonderful texture to Emma’s salad, which bursts with fresh citrus flavor from the zest and dressing. The asparagus, mint and almonds add a wonderful earthiness. I can’t wait to try more recipes from the book!
- I reworded the recipe instructions slightly to follow along more closely with the tone of my blog recipes.
- I used chopped shallots instead of onions, which are listed in the book. Either will taste good in the salad.
- As previously notes, I swapped the quinoa for sorghum.
Sorghum, Orange and Asparagus Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot or yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup uncooked sorghum, rinsed (see notes)
- 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- finely grated orange zest from 1/2 large orange
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, torn
For the dressing:
- juice of 1/2 large orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a tea kettle or small saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent, stirring frequently. Add the sesame seeds and sorghum, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Add the boiling water, and reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the sorghum is tender but toothsome, approximately 50-60 minutes. Drain any excess water.
- While the sorghum is cooking, blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Shock in cold water, drain, and set aside.
- To prepare the dressing, simmer the orange and lemon juice is a small saucepan until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the honey and olive oil to create an emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the sorghum to a large bowl and stir in the orange zest, almonds, mint, asparagus, and dressing. Toss to combine, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
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