Meal prep for flight attendants is more important than ever right now, with food options on layovers and in airports being limited due to COVID-19. I’m on-call for the next 3 days, and woke up to a call from scheduling, telling me I would be gone for all of them. I immediately start thinking through my food options, doing a mental inventory of what’s in my fridge and pantry so I can avoid a last minute trip to the store. This is what I decide to make: a vegetarian, filling grain bowl that will pack well and be as tasty as leftovers as it is on the first day. (Dare I say it was tastier on day 2?)
Again, the idea here is not to make a trip to the store, so work with what you already have. Don’t have farro? Use quinoa or brown rice. Don’t like radishes? Go for cucumbers, carrots or celery. Cut red or yellow onions into wedges in place of scallions, and omit the shallots to make a plain garlic oil instead (but man, the shallots add some really nice depth). Use any type of salad greens or herbs; omit the parmesan altogether if you are vegetarian or dairy-free. Play around and make changes that suit your tastes.
I use 10-minute quick farro from Trader Joe’s. If you’re using whole farro, you’ll still simmer it in salted water; just give yourself about 30 minutes. I also wait to peel the egg until I’m ready to eat it, since this is my lunch for the next 3 days. Make sure to season the egg with a little salt before you dig into it.
- 1 c farro
- 4-5 radishes
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 shallots
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3-4 large eggs
- 1 lemon
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 parmesan
Simmer 1 cup farro in salted water according to package directions. Drain and reserve in a medium-large bowl. Thinly slice 4-5 radishes & add to bowl of farro.
Heat a large pot of water over medium high. When water is at a rolling boil, carefully lower in eggs and cook; 6 and a half minutes for jammy eggs or 10 minutes for hard-boiled. Remove and put eggs in an ice bath for 2 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove eggs and dry in a towel; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat. Cook 1 bunch of scallions in skillet, turning occasionally, until charred in spots. Remove & let cool. Trim roots & discard; chop scallions into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl of farro.
Meanwhile, thinly slice 2 shallots and 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, depending on how much you like garlic. Heat 1/3 cup vegetable oil over medium in a small saucepan. Add alliums and cook, swirling pan occasionally to keep from burning, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels with a slotted spoon to drain; reserve cooking oil.
Squeeze juice from 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons. Whisk together with reserved garlic-shallot oil. Season with salt to taste. Use half the vinaigrette to dress 3 cups baby spinach.
Coarsely chop 1/4 cup cilantro & 1/4 cup parsley and add to remaining half of dressing. Grate in 1/4 cup parmesan. Taste and add salt again if needed. Pour over farro mixture and toss to coat. Mix in spinach. Top with fresh cracked pepper, parmesan shavings, fried shallots and a boiled egg.
Makes 3-4 servings.