Try savoury porridge as an alternative option to your usual breakfast routine, topped with anything you like. We usually have a sweet porridge for breakfast (and by usually, I mean almost every day of the month) with apples and frozen blueberries, but it is nice to start the day with something salty every once in a while.
Made with simple ingredients like oats, olive oil, and garlic, the toppings are what make this meal interesting. As you can top it with virtually anything, changing depending on the seasons, it’s an excellent breakfast for people who like a bit of consistency but not repetitiveness.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Oats: pictured are a type of Swedish porridge oats that I really like, and they’re sort of a mix of thin rolled oats, smaller oat pieces, and a little oat flour. Any rolled or quick cook oats you like can be used, but this recipe isn’t meant for steel cut.
- Olive oil: use any oil you like, or butter if preferred.
- Garlic: this is a major flavour note in the porridge, but if you don’t like garlic, you could use a little onion or shallot instead.
- Herbs and spices: use any you’d like here, and be sure to omit the hot pepper if you don’t like spice. Something like garam masala would be a nice option for spices, or another blend you like.
Step by Step
Step 1: heat the pot and add olive oil, then cook the garlic for about a minute.
Step 2: add the spices if using, then stir in the oats and toast for a minute or so, stirring.
Step 3: add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Step 4: cooking, stirring frequently, until the oats have absorbed the water, about five minutes.
This method of cooking the oats in oil before adding liquid is from a friend of mine, Traci, and it’s what I do whenever I want a slightly fancier porridge. For sweet versions, I’ll use coconut oil (see apple porridge) but olive oil is very good here. This adds some richness and you will taste that slight bitterness from the oil as well.
The recipe makes enough for two, but the process shots show a halved version, as leftovers aren’t fantastic here and I had to eat it all.
How to Store
Storage: this doesn’t store very well and does congeal rather quickly, like any porridge will. If you want to store some, keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a day or two and reheat gently with a splash or water or milk.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this.
- Crispy roasted mushrooms, as pictured
- A soft-boiled or fried egg (pictured, but obviously don’t add this for a vegan version)
- Preserved lemon
- Caramelised onion or roasted garlic
- Homemade or jarred pesto
- Tomato confit
- Fresh or pan-fried greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Silken or firm tofu, marinated if desired
- Green onion or chives
- Stir frequently: to make creamy porridge, even without milk, stir it frequently during cooking. This will help the liquid to evaporate more quickly.
- Season to taste: this will be particularly important if you’re adding a secondary salty topping ingredient, like preserved lemon. I reduce the salt in this case – keep in mind that salt can be added after cooking as well.
- Use a small pot: something with a very wide base will cause the liquid to evaporate too quickly, resulting in undercooked oats and a less creamy texture.
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper flakes optional
- 100 grams porridge oats
- 500 ml water or milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- Heat a small pot over low-medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic for about a minute, stirring, until lightly golden. Stir in the hot pepper flakes if using.2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- Add the oats and toast, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the water, salt, and pepper.100 grams porridge oats, 500 ml water, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Bring the porridge to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for about ten minutes, stirring frequently. The porridge is ready once all of the water has been absorbed.
- Divide into two dishes and top with any desired toppings. Serve immediately.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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