Sweet or Savory English Porridge – for breakfast, lunch, or dinner…

Nov 13, 2013

How I long to sit and have porridge with my best childhood friend, Jules. We tend to talk for so long that entire days slide by when we’re together. At her charming house outside of London, our kids played in the garden, our spouses talked sports and fish n’ chips, and inside, we laughed about old crushes newly found on Facebook and issues in parenting.

We tend to think of porridge as only a breakfast food, but if we let the recipe unfold, it can be savory (or savoury) like a risotto. ┬áThink of textures – crunchy sunflower seeds, salted pepitas, or melted cheese, or sweet – but not overly so – chopped apricots, porridge studded with bits of candied ginger for extra heat, coconut and sliced banana for long winter nights. With lots of cooking coming up for various holidays, it’s comforting to have such a filling, delicious, easy, inexpensive dish ready for whatever meal I want.

Sweet or Savory English Porridge

This makes enough for me and four kids with big appetites...with sometimes a little leftover for breakfast the following morning or as an add-in for homemade bread. I put out a bit of everything on the counter and the kids serve themselves - they love the choice, and the idea that they can have it sweet or cheesy.

3 cups milk, with extra if you want to drizzle on top

3 cups water

cups water

1 cup steel-cut oats

1 cup rolled oats

pinch salt (even if you are making a sweet dish)

Suggestions for sweet and/or savoryadd-ins

diced apricots, candied ginger, shredded coconut, maple syrup and pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and walnuts, cheese and cooked broccoli florets, feta and sunflower seeds

Combine milk and water in large pot. When mixture is warm (but not boiling) add both kinds of oats and salt. Heat until just about to boil, stirring a few times. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes, covered, while you get your add-ins ready. Sprinkle, mix, serve, eat. Smile.