A recipe for a warm freekeh breakfast bowl topped with roasted radishes, asparagus, spring alliums, and eggs that will get you ready to tackle any morning.
To get to my computer I pulled a sweatshirt off the floor and slowly sank my arms deep into the sleeves, a layer between me and the chill of a spring morning. I navigated a pile of dirty clothes outside the bedroom door of the boys. I ignored the laundry waiting to be folded on the couch.
To get here, I turned the world off and kept moving. The house is quiet, and I get my best work done before anyone else is awake, before the hustle of the day demands my attention elsewhere.
In high school when things weren’t going well, I’d eat mugs of farina for breakfast. Hot grains spooned to the back of my throat. Something about the warm consistency of a thing that I’d enjoyed when I was small and innocent helped erase the chaos. As an adult, I return.
It’s the breakfast I order in the hospital—black coffee, over easy eggs, cooked grains—whether I’m sick, post surgery, there with a child. It’s the breakfast I make for my kids when the world seems set on self-destruction. It’s the breakfast I eat to shut out everything else and just be for one small moment.
These bowls are an ode to spring, a few bits of earth-grown flavor topping off the grains and a small (but mighty) runny pullet egg. I’ve used freekeh for the base layer—a young, green wheat with a good amount of protein and fiber. I prefer cracked freekeh because the consistency is closer to quinoa and the cooking times are lower. Feel free to substitute quinoa, amaranth (porridge in that bowl with the blueberries and cream), farina, grits, polenta, oats, or any other cereal or pseudo-cereal to suit your preferences.
- 10-12 asparagus spears
- 1 small bunch spring radishes
- 4 small spring alliums (like young garlic or ramps)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 4 eggs, if desired
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups warm, cooked freekeh (prepared per package directions) or other cereals of choice
- When the freekeh (or your other cereal) is nearly finished cooking, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, toss trimmed asparagus, halved radishes, and alliums in the cider vinegar and olive oil. Spread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (and any other fresh herb you may have available). Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Prepare your eggs as desired: over easy, sunny side up, crispy, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled. (Over easy is my personal favorite.) Once the eggs are finished, brown the butter in the same pan.
- Add the butter to the saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk the butter or swirl the pan so the butter melts and cooks evenly. The top will froth and foam, and the butter will turn from golden to a nutty brown. Remove from heat and allow the milk solids to rest on the bottom (leave these behind).
- To serve, scoop freekeh into bowls. Drizzle browned butter over the freekeh. Top with roasted radishes, asparagus spears, and alliums and your egg of choice. Serve warm.
Freekeh cooking times differ by brand and cracked grain size, so read the package and prepare accordingly.