Make this easy vegetable slider recipe with West African super grain, fonio

Thiam has also opened restaurants in his hometown of Dekar, Senegal, and Nigeria, and is the author of two cookbooks, Senegal and The fonio cookbook.

For the uninitiated, fonio is light and fluffy with a slightly earthy, nutty flavor. Think of it like couscous or quinoa: a small grain that packs a huge nutritious punch.

Ultimately, Thiam wants fonio to be the next quinoa, but only as long as its transformation into a global commodity benefits African farmers. “We wanted to make sure that small farmers in Africa would be the ultimate beneficiaries.” So he built the supply chain from the ground up, even improving the efficiency of the flour mill’s specific machinery to process superfine grain. (You can find it online at Yole’s website or at Whole Foods, Target and Amazon.)

Cooking fonio, a super simple five-minute task, offers great versatility. In a salad, in salsas, in a crust… in a veggie slider. Thiam says there’s little you can’t do with fonio. The Berber people have a saying, Thiam explains, “They say, ‘Fonio is a cereal that never embarrasses the cook.'”

If you can mold patties, you can make this vegetable slider. Even if you’ve never eaten or worked with fonio before, this is a great appetizer recipe. It absorbs sauces and flavors easily, making it a great spice-filled binder for those veggie burgers.