steel cut oats—two ways

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Oatmeal seems simple enough, but it’s a divisive breakfast in our house. I love the nutty, toothsome texture of steel cut oats, as does my youngest daughter. The Mr. and my 7-year-old prefer old fashioned oats. Luckily, steel cut oats are forgiving, provided you don’t overcook them, so I can make a pot on Mondays and heat portions as the week goes on.

Ricotta is one of my favorite toppings—those in the know, understand my infatuation with homemade ricotta. Here I’ve taken it in two directions— savory and sweet. Both versions are oldies but goodies from In Jennie’s Kitchen—the savory caramelized onion recipe was even featured on Time’s Healthland site and at Simple Bites.

What’s Cooking at In Jennie’s Kitchen?

brown butter pear & lemon meyer muffins

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Basic Recipe for Steel Cut Oats

serves 6 to 8

1 cup steel cut oats

4 cups water

pinch of salt

Bring water to a boil in a deep pot. Add oats 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.

Make-ahead: Steel cut oats reheat very well, so I like to make extra this way we can enjoy them on busy weekday mornings. Store leftovers in a covered container. Spoon our individual portions into a bowl, adding a tablespoon or two of milk or water, then cover and microwave until heated through, about 1 minute does the job in my 1000 watt microwave.

Steel Cut Oats with Ricotta, Pistachios & Raisins

serves one

1/2 cup prepared steel cut oats

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon raisins

1 tablespoon fresh ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon chopped pistachios

Add cooked oats to a deep bowl. Scatter sugar and raisins on top. Add ricotta cheese and sprinkle pistachios on top. Serve immediately—I like to stir it all up so I get a bit of everything in each spoonful!

steel cut oats with caramelized onions & ricotta

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Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Onions & Ricotta

serves 2

printer friendly recipe

Sure, this sounds decadent and like a lot of work, but it comes together pretty quickly if you have leftover oats in the fridge and you can always make a big batch of caramelized onions to store in the fridge too—they’ll just need a brief reheat in the microwave.

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 small onion, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon molasses

1 cup cooked steel cut oats

2 tablespoons fresh ricotta

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.

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2 Comments to “steel cut oats—two ways”

  1. I’m so happy to find a fellow fan of savory oatmeal. The onion-ricotta version looks so delish!

  2. I love oatmeal! I usually go for old-fashioned, but maybe I’ll try steel-cut now. I also haven’t considered making a large batch and reheating it… that would be great for eating at my desk at work in the morning. Thanks for the tips!

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