Oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can eat. It contains more soluble fiber than any other grain, which helps slow the absorption of glucose in the body, which in turn prevents spikes in blood sugar. Oatmeal has also been proven to help lower cholesterol, and because it moves more slowly through your system, it helps you feel full longer.
We generally think of oatmeal as a breakfast food, but it’s a delicious grain served savory as well. For our take on risotto, we used old-fashioned rolled oats in place of short-grained rice and the results were amazing. It has all the creaminess of a traditional risotto with a little nutty flavor and a bit more texture. Plus, it takes a lot less time and effort to prepare. You can add other vegetables to change up the flavors. It makes a great side dish but is hearty enough to stand alone as a complete meal.
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped shallots
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups steel cut or old-fashioned oats (not quick or instant)
½ cup white wine
4 to 5 cups warm chicken stock
1 cup Parmesan cheese
4 strips center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped shallot, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Sauté the shallot for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
2. Stir in the oats and continue cooking for a couple minutes or until the oats begin to smell nutty.
3. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour in the wine. Use the spoon to scrape any bits that may have stuck to the bottom. Slowly pour in 2 cups of the broth and stir to prevent the oatmeal from sticking.
4. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add in another 2 cups of broth and continue simmering the oatmeal, stirring as it cooks. Pour in the last cup of broth and turn the heat to low.
5. Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the oatmeal risotto sit to thicken for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a little extra Parmesan, the crispy bacon bits and more fresh ground black pepper.
This article was originally published in the November 2021 issue of 225 magazine.