I blinked a couple of times, and somehow it's October. It's true what they say—time travels way too quickly as you age. My next blog post will probably be at age 54 (kidding, I have a few lined up and I promise it won't be long before I post my next recipe). I started writing this post in July when strawberries were in season here in New England, and next thing ya know I'm in the middle of the apple and pear harvest and canning extravaganza, and now leaf raking has presented itself as an alternate full-time job.
Somewhere in between I did a ton of gardening (I was thrilled with my veggie garden this year, and actually feel as though I'm getting the hang of it), took a trip to Sun Valley, Idaho with the Man for the total eclipse (it was amazing) and had old friends and family come to visit. And now it's time to hunker down for fall.
So while the photo shows strawberries (and if you're in California, strawberries are still available at the farmers market!) feel free to use sliced pear if you live in a place like New England that waved goodbye to berries a while back.
I first learned about putting olive oil and sea salt on oatmeal a number of years ago from a behind-the-scenes video blog with Giada De Laurentiis (evidently it's her favorite). I'm not sure why I hadn't conceived of savory oatmeal on my own—cooked oats are no different than brown rice or farro, of which I consume(d) generous helpings with olive oil and sea salt on a regular basis. But somehow oatmeal has been hemmed in as a sweet breakfast option, eaten "properly" only when topped with brown sugar and cream. But such limits are meant to be pushed. I later found a recipe for "Gladiator Oatmeal" with olive oil, rosemary, bacon and chopped dates—savory, yes, but I'm not going to eat bacon on my oatmeal every day.
This summer I was recipe testing for Foodstand's No Sugary Breakfast Challenge, and wanted to include a savory oatmeal recipe that was approachable. There are many excellent savory breakfast options out there, but they often take some prep time, and if someone's used to eating sweet oatmeal for breakfast, the jump to a veggie hash might be too far of a stretch. So it was time to revisit the oatmeal with olive oil and sea salt idea. I love eating fruit at breakfast, and I make a sweet and savory strawberry gazpacho that's delicious, so I figured pairing berries with olive oil and sea salt would be a great way ditch the maple syrup but not go full blown vegetable patch. And thyme, well, I love my herbs and fruit. Give it a try! You just might be surprised...
OATMEAL WITH OLIVE OIL AND SEA SALT
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ¾ cups water
- ½ cup strawberries, sliced (or blackberries, blueberries, pear, etc.)
- ¼ cup raw or toasted almonds (or pecans, walnuts, etc.)
- Fresh thyme
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
In a medium saucepan, bring the oats, water and a large pinch of sea salt to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until creamy (about 4 minutes). Spoon the oatmeal into 2 bowls, and top with the fruit and nuts. Garnish with a pinch of fresh thyme leaves, and a drizzle of olive oil. Finish with a pinch of flaky sea salt (crush it between your fingers to break up the flakes).