Serious Eats: Recipes

Sunday Brunch: Oatmeal with Honeyed Figs

[Photo: Robin Bellinger]

My husband recently accused me of eating steel-cut oats every morning, which I started doing about six months ago, because they are "trendy." My knee-jerk protest died in a splutter as I recalled that I adopted this breakfast (after a lifetime of hot-cereal-avoidance) not when my mother urged me to try "real" oatmeal, but when I spied it on the lunch menu at a popular restaurant on New York's Lower East Side and gave it a shot, because I felt poor and it was cheaper than everything else.

Maybe I had been seduced by a clever menu writer, but this trend, unlike skinny jeans, turned out to suit me exceedingly well. The oatmeal was toasty, filling, un-slimy, and easy to replicate at home. Now I make a pot every three days, reheating the cold stuff with a big splash of soy milk. Usually I top it with ground cinnamon, ground flaxseed, and a modest spoonful of brown sugar, but a honeyed fig topping makes it worthy of guests.

A little cup would make a cute amuse bouche, if that's how brunch goes at your house. Just think—if, when you serve it to someone who's been avoiding oatmeal, she eats it to be polite, you might be doing her a big favor by introducing her to a new favorite food. (And if a bowl of hot mush is more than some texture-sensitive guests can handle, the figs are good on yogurt, too.)

Oatmeal with Honeyed Fig Topping

Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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