Most cities have a restaurant like LOFO—here in Syracuse, it’s the place you go when you feel like eating something veggie-and-grain rich, if you want a smoothie packed with delicious and healthy things, and incidentally, in the case of LOFO, for one of the best burgers in town. I am always taken with grain bowls, those beautifully composed salads with chewy whole grains, a rainbow of produce—some cooked, some raw, but all singing with freshness—avocados that are textbook-ripe, and perhaps a perfectly cooked egg on top. The simplicity always strikes such a deeply satisfying note—the dish is absolutely something you could assemble at home, but no one ever does, because it would take too long to get everything chopped, prepped, and cooked just-so.
Then again, one morning recently, I noticed that I had quite a few leftovers in the fridge that would make an ideal breakfast grain bowl. Some leftover farro would provide a chewy base to some sunny-side-up eggs, and those leftover dandelion greens would add a note of bitterness that I find irresistible and is usually absent from breakfast. A drizzle of sesame oil over the whole thing unified the flavors, and made it just different enough from how it all tasted the night before. Since then, I have eyed the fridge for this combo of leftovers many, many mornings. Brown rice, wheat berries, and barley all make excellent bases, and any greens, sautéed bell peppers, or mushrooms will provide savory complements for the eggs. This week, I added another finishing touch that took things up a notch: a few slivers of nori on top. With a good, strong cup of coffee, and a breakfast like this, I am ready to start the day with a smile on my face.