I have a blueberry guy. I have a stone fruit guy and a bean and beet and bacon guy too. I hang loose when it comes to sugar snap peas, because, really, it’s hard to find a snap pea that will do you wrong. But about this blueberry guy.
He has the sweetest, most summery blueberries at the farmers’ market. It’s hard to find a bad berry in July—I understand that—but his stand has had the best ones three years running; he’s yet to burn me. He tries desperately to hawk beans and tomatoes while forking over his pints (I wouldn’t know how the vegetables are, I already have guys for those). But his berries are where it’s at.
My boyfriend has even commented on them. Which is really saying something, because Dave gives out compliments like they’re ration stamps. Like it’s wartime. Like he’s about to run out.
Well, these blueberries got one.
Now, this next step may not surprise you. I am certainly not the first one to mention baked oatmeal. It’s a recipe from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. Molly posted about it in March. And then Jess posted about her version, made with apricots, just last week. Heck, there could be women all over the country having come-to-Jesus-moments with this oatmeal, for all I know.
I do understand that not everyone loves oatmeal. But this is a berried whole grain breakfast you can slice, which should help anyone who’s written off oatmeal because of textural issues. The nuts add a rich, buttery note (as does some actual butter that gets melted in, as well). It’s also sweet—but not too sweet—and good eaten both cold and warm.
It’s the kind of dish that you could use as a dumping ground for all sorts of stray seeds, nuts, and summer fruits. Most recently, I’ve been entertaining a plum and hazelnut version. I will keep you posted. But—in the meantime—nearly everyone loves blueberries. So I suggest you give it a whirl.
Also—it should be noted—while Dave didn’t say anything, there were two fairly large pieces of oatmeal missing the day after I baked it.
Sometimes, he’s a man of few words. But, hot damn, the guy knows food. And his fork speaks volumes.
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
2 cups oats
½ cup choice nuts, or seeds (I used pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts), toasted
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
1½ cups blueberries
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg, beaten
1½ tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Set the oven at 375 degrees. In an 8 x 8 or 10 x 7 inch casserole dish, mix together the oats, nuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Scatter the blueberries evenly over the oats mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, syrup, egg, butter, and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid over the oats; be sure it fully seeps down into the oats (you may need to use a spoon to help coax it).
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Makes about 6 servings
-You can use fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw, the frozen ones might increase the baking time a bit). (These berries come from the City Hall farmers' market. Stand #3.)
-This is good warm, perhaps with another drizzle of maple syrup, but my favorite way to eat it is cold, with a fork, or out of hand if no one is watching. (Please note the recipe—as dictated by the ladies—has another 1½ tablespoon of butter drizzled on top. I can’t argue with that, either.)
-I like to give Dave a hard time, but he’s really pretty lovely.