Kitchn Love Letters

This Veggie-Packed Dish Is the Only Thing I Ever Meal Prep

published Aug 23, 2020
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Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

Confession: I hate meal prepping. Sure, I know it’s a great way to save time and money, and that it’s a necessity for a lot of people. But because the act of cooking brings me so much joy, I just don’t want to do it all in one go! There is one recipe, however, that I’ll make an exception for — a dish so good it’s practically become a permanent fixture in my fridge. And that’s Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli rubble farro salad.

This simple grain salad is made with just five staple ingredients (in addition to some seasonings and olive oil). Broccoli gets quickly blanched in salted water, chopped up, and tossed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cooked farro gets mixed in, along with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, lemon juice, and zest. The resulting mixture is a hearty-yet-fresh grain salad that stays crisp and vibrant for multiple days in the fridge. It’s cheesy, lemony, and just a tad spicy. It’s the perfect meal to cook in advance — the farro soaks up the flavorful garlicky olive oil and plumps up, and the flavors blend together and get even better as the days go on. I like to make a big batch on Sunday and snack on it all throughout the week.

Get the recipe: Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad

The Best Way to Use an Entire Head of Broccoli

Not only is this salad the perfect make-ahead meal, it’s also a great way to use an entire head of broccoli — stems and all! While Smitten Kitchen’s recipe doesn’t explicitly call for it, the broccoli gets chopped up into such tiny pieces that you don’t even notice them! It’s both money-saving and delicious, and the perfect use for a part of the veggie you might otherwise discard.

To do so, use a peeler to remove the tough, outer skin of the broccoli stems and cut it into thick rounds (the recipe says you can use either broccoli or broccolini, but I always use the former). Add the rounds to the pot of simmering water along with the florets where they’ll blanch at the same time. They have a crisp, asparagus-like texture that’s a welcomed addition to the florets.

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

If You Make Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad, a Few Tips

Before you head into the kitchen to make this salad, keep these tips in mind.

1. Be careful not to overcook the broccoli. The broccoli cooks very fast, so make sure to set a timer and check on it after two minutes. You want the broccoli to be tender yet crisp, so keep an eye on it.

2. Drain the broccoli and pat it with paper towels. You want to remove as much excess moisture as possible from the broccoli, so make sure to drain it well and pat it down with paper towels. Skipping this step can result in a water-logged salad that tastes bland.

3. Use the same pot to cook the farro. Smitten Kitchen notes that you can use the same cooking water that the broccoli was blanched in to cook the farro. Doing this results in one fewer dish to wash and saves you the hassle of having to wait for another pot of water to boil. A win-win.

4. After refrigerating the salad, taste for seasoning. After a few hours in the fridge the flavors in the salad will settle and change slightly, so make sure to give it a taste and adjust for seasoning. You might find it needs more salt or an extra squeeze of lemon.

Have you tried Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli rubble farro salad? Let us know in the comments!

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.