DifficultyBeginner

Fonio you may be wondering, what is that? Fonio is a very ancient gluten free grain that finds its origins in West Africa. It is also a sustainable drought tolerant grain. It has a very light and nutty taste. For those who can’t have quinoa it is a wonderful substitute. For those who miss cous-cous, it makes a great substitute. It takes literally 5 minutes to cook and is so easy to prepare ahead and refrigerate. One cup of fonio yields 4 cups of cooked fluffy fonio.
This recipe was inspired by seasonal ingredients that I love-cranberries and sage. You could use this recipe as a stuffing recipe as well. It makes a great side dish or as is for a light lunch.
Whether you use orange juice or lemon juice is up to you. The orange gives the dish a nice sweetness which will contrast well with the tartness of the cranberries. I liked it with lemon too, it is entirely up to you however.

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Yields6 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time25 mins
 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 cups water
 2 tbsp grass fed or vegan butter
 3 tbsp finely minced fresh sage or rosemary
  cup fresh or frozen cranberries
 zest and juice of 1 medium orange or lemon
 sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  cup lightly toasted raw hazelnuts*
1

Follow the directions below for the toasted hazelnuts and then chop once cooled and set aside. Add oil to a medium saucepan and turn heat to medium high. Add fonio to the pan and coat the fonio in oil and stir for a minute or two. Add water, turn up heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave pot on the stove with the lid on. Use a fork to fluff the fonio. Stir in the butter.

2

Add sage, cranberries and citrus juice (add the juice slowly as too much juice/liquid will change the texture of your pilaf) and zest and stir. Add chopped hazelnuts and serve or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

3

*roast the hazelnuts by placing on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pop them into a preheated 350 degree oven and toast for 12-15 minutes, until the skins start to toast a little (be careful not to burn as this happens very quickly). Set aside and once mostly cool, place a few hazelnuts at a time in your palms and rub vigorously until the skin drops off. I do this over the same tray that I roasted them on. You can also do this between two tea towels. Chop hazelnuts and set aside.

Ingredients

 2 tbsp olive oil
 2 cups water
 2 tbsp grass fed or vegan butter
 3 tbsp finely minced fresh sage or rosemary
  cup fresh or frozen cranberries
 zest and juice of 1 medium orange or lemon
 sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  cup lightly toasted raw hazelnuts*

Directions

1

Follow the directions below for the toasted hazelnuts and then chop once cooled and set aside. Add oil to a medium saucepan and turn heat to medium high. Add fonio to the pan and coat the fonio in oil and stir for a minute or two. Add water, turn up heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and cook for about 1-2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave pot on the stove with the lid on. Use a fork to fluff the fonio. Stir in the butter.

2

Add sage, cranberries and citrus juice (add the juice slowly as too much juice/liquid will change the texture of your pilaf) and zest and stir. Add chopped hazelnuts and serve or place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

3

*roast the hazelnuts by placing on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pop them into a preheated 350 degree oven and toast for 12-15 minutes, until the skins start to toast a little (be careful not to burn as this happens very quickly). Set aside and once mostly cool, place a few hazelnuts at a time in your palms and rub vigorously until the skin drops off. I do this over the same tray that I roasted them on. You can also do this between two tea towels. Chop hazelnuts and set aside.

Fonio Pilaf with Cranberries, Sage and Hazelnuts