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Author Notes: Two things you should know about me: 1) since I taught myself how to make fresh ricotta last summer, I've become an addict of sorts, and am always looking for new ways to use it; 2) I love hot, hearty breakfasts—perhaps I was a lumberjack in a previous life? Anyway, this savory oatmeal is a very comforting and filling way to start the day. You can make it in a larger casserole and run it under the broiler to let the cheese get golden for a brunch dish that'll likely become a legend. You'll have extra cooked oats leftover, so store them in a covered container in the fridge and reheat as needed in the microwave until warmed through. Oh, and one last note—it's baby approved. My 21 month old and I vied for the last spoonfuls while curled up on the couch watching Sesame Street. —Jennifer Perillo
For the steel cut oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats (not quick cooking)
- 4 cups water
- pinch of salt
Caramelized Onions, Ricotta & Steel Cut Oats (makes 2 servings)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon molasses
- 1 cup cooked steel cut oats (see step 1)
- 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta
- To make the oats, bring water to a boil in a deep pot. Add oats and salt, and cook until they begin to thicken. Reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking, uncovered, until grains are slightly tender and water has mostly absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Saute until they begin to soften and become golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in molasses, and a touch more olive oil if necessary. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, until onions are very tender, about 10 more minutes.
- Divide the cooked oatmeal among two bowls. Top with equal amounts of caramelized onions and fresh ricotta. Stir together with your spoon before digging in.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Porridge