Savory Oatmeal is an ingenious idea, in fact I wish I had thought of it myself especially given how often I eat oatmeal (every single day). We eat all other grains with savory and salty flavors, so why not oats, and why not for dinner? I decided to treat my oats like I would wheat bulgur or farro. They have similar flavors and the texture of cooked wheat bulgur is not entirely dissimilar. For the base I made the oats into a porridge as I like how the texture of it feels meatier than when steamed. I blended up a quick oat milk (minus the straining as it was not necessary in this recipe) but you are welcome to use store-bought oat milk if you can find it (link to my recipe here). The popularity of oat milk is so ironic to me, as it was one of the few dairy-alternative milks available when I was a kid and then it seemed to disappear for years until it suddenly shot up in popularity in 2018. I have to say I’m happy to see it back on the market in a big way. The addition of creamy roasted garlic amps up the flavor of the dish, and is so delicious when mashed up and smeared into each bite. I hope you enjoy this savory oatmeal recipe as much as I do!
Free From: Peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, egg, fish, shellfish. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Alternatives: If there is a gluten intolerance, use certified gluten-free oats
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 cup loose, fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp. lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
2 cups water
2 lemon wedges
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a small pan with parchment paper. Spread the tomatoes and garlic out on the pan and drizzle with about 1 tsp of olive oil. Shake the pan around to ensure everything is well coated, then season with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then broil for 1 - 2 minutes.
Add the basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
Add 2/3 cup of oats, and the water, to a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan along with the rest of the oats and simmer on medium-low heat until the oats are cooked through and puffy, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir often to prevent sticking. This only takes a few minutes if you are using rolled oats. Steel cut oats will take longer. Season with salt to taste.
Divide the cooked oats, or porridge, in half and scoop into 2 bowls. Lay a big scoop of tomatoes and a garlic clove onto each one, then drizzle lots of pesto over everything. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a wedge of lemon. Serve nice and hot.