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Juneteenth Bowl

Indigenous to Africa and immortalized beloved by America, sorghum, sweet potato, black-eyed peas, collards and peanuts come together in one bowl. The good news — all components can be made a day or two ahead, then kept covered and refrigerated. Assemble when you’re ready. The other news —now’s the time I break it to you that sorghum is a slow-cooking grain. It needs an hour’s worth of simmering for best results. Leave it alone to simmer while you roast the sweet potato, toss the collards and make the black-eyed pea stew and you’ll have everything ready to eat at the same time — nutrient-dense, rainbow-bright and flavor-packed. It’s like Juneteenth in a bowl. Thanks to Wondergrain, who supplied the sorghum and sorghum syrup for this recipe.


For the sorghum:

  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup sorghum
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the sweet potato:

  • 1 sweet potato chopped
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • a sprinkle of sea salt

For the collards:

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 juicy lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For black-eyed pea stew:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno minced
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 2 cups black-eyed peas cooked and cooled
  • 1 28- ounce can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes or about 2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes (2-3 good-sized tomatoes) chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sorghum syrup or molasses
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To serve:

  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts chopped


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Bring water or vegetable broth to boil in a large pot. Add sorghum. Keep the pot on high heat and continue boiling for another 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pod and let everything simmer for 1 hour. It will need little attention, just peek in occasionally and give it a stir so the sorghum doesn’t get lonely and there’s still plenty of liquid in the pot.
  • After an hour, grains should be tender and plump. Pour off any liquid the grains haven’t absorbed. Toss sorghum with coconut oil, cumin and lemon juice. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Meanwhile, spread chopped sweet potato onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  • Roast sweet potato in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent charring. When sweet potato is tender and darkened at the edges, remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a good-sized soup pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the chopped onion. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until onion starts to turn translucent. Then add minced garlic and jalapeno, chopped red pepper and celery. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables soften and become fragrant.
  • Stir in the cooked black-eyed peas, the chopped tomatoes, paprika and turmeric. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add the sorghum syrup or molasses to balance flavors. Add fresh thyme leaves and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  • Wash the collards well. Blot dry. Slice out the thick central stems and discard (or reserve them to make broth later). Stack the collard leaves and roll them up widthwise, forming a tight collard cigar. Using your sharpest knife, slice across as thinly as possible, forming skinny ribbons — collard tinsel — or to use the proper culinary term, chiffonade. Alternately, using the shredding disc, shred the collards in a food processor. You’ll have roughly 2 cups of greens.
  • Scoop the collards into a large bowl. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • To serve, scatter a spoon or two of collards into bowls. Spoon sorghum to cover. Top with chopped sweet potato, a few more shreds of collards and a good ladle or two of black-eyed peas. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and enjoy.


*Sorghum flour by itself is heavy. It needs to be lightened with corn starch or potato starch and balanced with other flours for best baking results. Some recipes also call for binders like xanthan or guar gum.