Spiced Porridge with Stewed Rhubarb and Apple
Recipe, words & images by Harriet Davidson
I’ve come to realise that my love for breakfast is more than it being about feeding my morning hunger. It’s as much about the process and ritual of building it. Adding each element, considering where I want to place the tahini drizzle, browsing my shelf for which nut or seed will add the crunch. It’s the soothing act of taking time to do something with my hands that at the end of, I have something that I made for no one but myself.
The smell of spiced porridge and stewed fruit bubbling away on your stove top on a cool morning is in itself, a reason to make this. Take the extra time to let the porridge simmer on a low heat to release the spices and let the oats meld.
The stewed fruit is a beautiful Autumnal medley, given spice from cinnamon, richness from prunes, sweetness from dates and a tang from dried apricots. Once you have the fruit made up, it’s in the fridge ready for your breakfasts but equally, makes for a brilliant dessert spooned over some good quality vanilla ice cream.
This porridge recipe is for two, half it or double it depending on who’s at your breakfast table. It’s all about the mix of textures of the oats, nuts and fruit. I use a mix of steel cut oats and rolled oats to get that soft crunch but replace the steel cuts with regular oats if you don’t have them. I started putting tahini on my breakfasts when I was living in Sweden and haven’t turned back. Its slight savoury flavour adds a nuttiness and lends so well to the honey and syrup of the stewed fruit.
Play around, use the nuts you love the most, have it with or without yoghurt, use peanut butter instead of tahini. Breakfast is a deeply personal thing, and this here is how I like to do it.
Stewed rhubarb and apple
5 granny smith apples
1 bunch rhubarb
5 cm piece of ginger
2 cinnamon quills
1 cup prunes
½ cup dates
½ cup dried apricots
1/3 cup steel cut oats, soaked overnight
1/3 cup rolled oats, soaked overnight
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup oat milk (or the milk your currently into)
2/3 cup water
Tahini (I love the brand Melissa)
For the fruit, peel and slice the apples into bite-sized wedges. Cut the rhubarb into 5cm pieces. Thinly slice the ginger using a mandolin if you have one. Cut the prunes, dates and apricots in half. Place all ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add water so it’s about 2 inches deep, or half way up the fruit mix. Make sure the cinnamon quills are at the bottom so they release as much of their flavour.
Bring to the boil, stir, turn down to a low heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes. Turn it off and let sit for another 10 minutes to allow the fruit to stew longer. You want the apples and rhubarb to soften but hold their structure.
Top porridge with the warm fruit. Once porridge is ready and with the leftover fruit, let cool before placing in a jar and keeping in the fridge for up to a week.
While the fruit is sitting, for the porridge, discard water the oats were soaking in.
Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Turn down and let bubble away for 10 minutes or so, stirring to stop it from catching on the bottom and adding a splash of water to loosen as you go. Add a dash more of milk. You want the consistency to be loose but not runny.
To serve, place porridge in a bowl that has a large surface area (the bowl choice is key) and drizzle the cooked oats with honey. Place stewed fruit on top along with a spoon of yoghurt, a spoon of tahini, a sprinkle of toasted buckwheat and/or walnuts, a dash of cinnamon, another drizzle of honey and a small pinch of sea salt. This is one of my favourite topping combinations but it’s absolutely something you can play with. I often add a banana or use toasted almonds or sesame seeds as the crunch.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee, take a seat and enjoy being warmed from the inside.