On a whim I bought a pack of whole sorghum at my local Chinese grocer a while back and it sat obediently in the overflowing grains/staples section of my pantry, waiting for its star turn. It looks, tastes and cooks like a grain but is in fact a grass, which can grow in arid conditions which I somehow like the sound of, as we know how much havoc water-greedy crops can wreak. A good friend of mine has just, in her mid-thirties, been diagnosed celiac, meaning gluten causes her, as my four-year old would emphatically pronounce, for real pain and damage. I’m enjoying experimenting with gluten-free recipes to pass my discoveries on to her. So this bag of sorghum sat there for ages until one day recently I had a a craving for a one-dish special, using summer veges with something to bulk it out and tie all the flavours together – in this case the sorghum. You cook it like you would rice, the absorption method, but with a bit more water, about 1 part sorghum to 3 parts rice. It needs about 25 minutes on a low heat to soak up all the water, and you should drain and rinse it afterwards just to get rid of excess water and stickiness. It doesn’t have much flavour, though I can detect a slight grassy note, similar to buckwheat but far less noticeable. The texture when cooked is a bit softer than giant couscous, but still retains a bite which makes it good for salads like this. I combined the cooked sorghum with a mix of roasted cherry tomatoes, capsicums, garlic cloves and thin slices of lemon along with fresh rocket, sheep’s feta and a cashew cream I made with soaked cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I drizzled over a little extra olive oil and lemon juice to finish and it tasted lovely. Next up I’m going to try popping the raw sorghum in my popcorn maker. Watch this space.