I’ve been seeing a lot of ‘why not just make it with rice’ reactions to alternative grain risotto recipes. I have a few reasons. Trying to get a variety of potentially more nutritious grains into my meals is one. Making a risotto-like dish with any grain makes it taste delicious and a little more special than just a bed for the more dominant stuff on your plate. It’s also a creative challenge, and I welcome those when they occur in the kitchen. The flavor will always be a bit more new and unexpected than traditional risotto, but the creamy grain dish format will keep it in cozy territory, which is nice. Of course, no grain will quite replace starchy Arborio rice, which is what usually gives risotto that wonderfully creamy consistency. I like to incorporate blended roasted root vegetables, beans or coconut milk to achieve that sought-after texture. In this risotto, I went with coconut milk, which integrates seamlessly with the flavors of the beets, ginger, garlic and chili. Though the spicy, sweet and earthy flavors in this dish are a bit far from the classic, it’s absolutely delicious in its own right, and kind of perfect for this transitional time of year.
I’ve tried sorghum in salads and bowls in the past, but always found it to be a bit too chewy for my liking. That toothsome texture works perfectly in risotto, though, so I was very happy to rediscover this nutritious, gluten-free grain with this dish that I developed for Nuts.com