1/2 Cup red onion, chopped
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 1/3 Cups Shiptaukin Quick Fonio
2-2/3 Cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tsp. Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 Cup shelled pistachios
10 Dried apricots, chopped
1/3 Cup parsley, chopped
1) Place the chopped onion in a small bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the onions, set aside and let the onions soak in the lemon juice for about 5 minutes
2) Toast the pistachios in a small pan on medium-high heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Put in a small bowl to cool.
3) Put 2 and 2/3 cups of stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt to the water. Once the salt dissolves, stir in the folio. Briefly return to a boil. Cover and remove from the heat. Let the fonio sit covered for 5-6 minutes
4) Fluff the fonio with a fork. Stir in the pistachios, chopped apricots and parsley. Stir in the red onion and lemon juice. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil, stir well and add salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature as a side dish or salad.
NOTES: My fonio with pistachios and apricots is the perfect Mediterranean side dish for chicken, lamb or fish. The apricots and pistachios give it little pops of sweetness and a little crunch. This is so easy to make and is delicious warm or at room temperature so it is perfect on a buffet.
First, let’s deal head on with the most frequently asked questions about fonio.
Fonio is an ancient grain from Africa. It is the smallest member of the millet family and grows easily in the arid regions of Africa. It is traditionally used in everything from breakfast porridge to bread, is added to soups, stir-fries, and baked goods and of course, served as a side dish like it is here.
Fonio is considered to be a nutritional powerhouse and provides a ton of nutrients.
Fonio is a good source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, which are necessary for the growth, development, and function of cells, as well as energy production.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) suggests that fonio has the highest calcium content of all grains. So, if you don’t consume dairy, such as vegans or individuals with lactose intolerance, this might be a great choice.
Fonio also provides iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
Fonio is eaten in its entirety and therefore considered a whole grain.
Whole grains may aid weight management and gut health. They’re also associated with a plethora of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal, pancreatic, and stomach cancer.
Fonio is naturally gluten-free. Thus, it’s safe for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Fonio is the perfect substitute for couscous, quinoa, white and brown rice and other grains.
Fonio is prepared similar to couscous and other grains. It is boiled in water or other liquid for a very short amount of time and let to sit covered until cooked through. You fluff it with a fork and it is light and airy and perfect for a million different recipes.
So, after knowing how great this grain is, I immediately went into the kitchen to begin working with it. So easy to prepare and so very versatile. I always have a whole grain side dish with dinner. It is just one of those “healthy” things to do, so trying a new grain worked beautifully into my routine. I found fonio easy to cook, delicious to eat and my family loved it.
I used this grain in one of my all-time favorite recipes instead of couscous and it came out great. Who doesn’t love apricots and pistachios (a classic, right?) and that is exactly what I added to my fonio. While typically you can make this and other grains in water, I upped my game and used chicken stock. (vegetable stock would work great too).
I had left overs and they were great the next day too. I kept them in the fridge in a covered container, and let it come to room temperature before diving in for lunch the next day. Loved it.
If you are going to try one new grain, make this the one.
If you like this, be sure to try my Fonio and Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms too. Interested in trying Shipetaukin Quick Fonio? Order through the link and be sure to use my discount code to receive an immediate 20% discount on your first purchase. 20MyCurated
Looking for other side dishes? Try some of my favorite recipes: