February 6, 2012
olive oil steel-cut oats
just stopping in with a quick question: have you tried olive oil on your oatmeal? if the answer's no, i'm here today to convince you to give it a go.
for as long as i can remember i've taken my oats with butter, milk, and maple syrup. a perfectly good combination. but then i poured some peppery olive oil on my porridge a few mornings ago, and now i'm obsessed. maybe i'm crazy. and i don't say that out of paranoia -- when the yogi saw me doing this he actually said 'you're crazy'. but for me it's a natural extension of my undying affection for olive oil. i treat this stuff as a food group unto itself, drizzling - or glugging, depending on the occasion -- it over nearly everything. how it took me so long to introduce some olive-y goodness to my oatmeal routine i just don't know. it adds a peppery, fruity intrigue that butter just can't match.
steel-cut oats are the way to go here -- they cook up creamy, nutty, with the perfect amount of chewy bite. save the rolled oats for granola. and please, for the love of ganesh, just say no to instant oats -- especially the artificially flavored, sickly sweet paper-packeted variety -- soooooo scary!
i keep bob's red mill steel-cut oats stocked in the pantry; according to the bag, they're the first oats from outside scotland to win the golden spurtle porridge-making world championship. i'm impressed. i soak the oats overnight and cook them in the morning -- to simplify the morning routine, and also improve the flavor and nutrition/digestibility of the grains. while the oats simmer (about 20 minutes, so it's not a huge time commitment) it's a nice time to do some yoga, meditation, breath work ... or sip a mug of coffee and stare into the middle distance.
when the oatmeal is thick and creamy, spoon some into your favorite bowl and bring on the maple syrup (thick, dark grade b!), your favorite extra virgin olive oil, toasted nuts (i like almonds), dried fruit (golden raisins are nice), a dusting of ground cinnamon. and don't neglect the essential finishing touch - sea salt, the crunchier/flakier the better (like maldon). the salt wakes everything up and elevates the nuanced flavors of the olive oil. simple and so delicious ... a warming bowl of sweet-savory-oaty goodness is a great way to start the day.
give it a try and let me know if i'm crazy.
steel-cut oats with olive oil
makes about 4 cups of oatmeal
3 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/4 tsp salt
extra virgin olive oil
pure maple syrup
toasted, chopped nuts
flaky sea salt
combine the water, oats, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium pot. cover and soak at room temperature overnight (8 to 12 hours).
in the morning, bring the oats to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and creamy and the oats are tender but still have a bite to them, about 20 minutes (this will make creamy oats; if you prefer your oats al dente cook for 10-15 minutes instead).
transfer to bowls and add toppings of choice (being generous with the olive oil, of course :)
to reheat leftover oatmeal, add about 1/4 cup of water for each cup of oatmeal and heat over a low flame, stirring well to break up any lumps. or stir the leftover oatmeal into pancake batter for some seriously hearty and delicious griddle cakes.