Oatmeal with blueberry compote, hazelnuts and cappuccino foam and winery tapas dining in the Okanagan
I go to great length to have oatmeal for breakfast when we travel and it’s a standard breakfast when we are at home. Oatmeal doesn’t have to be boring, to me it isn’t in any event. There are different styles of oatmeal, depending on how they are cut and processed. Instant is out of the question and quick cooking is close second on the never never list. My favourite cuts are the old fashion and steel cut oats. Old fashion oats are large flakes and take a little longer to cook. Steel cut oats (a.k.a. Irish Oatmeal) are made by removing the husks and putting the grains through a cutting machine with rotating steel disks that cut each oat into 2-3 small pieces. Hence the name steel cut oats. If you are interested in learning more about the process check McCan’s website here. Both large flake and steel cut oats make a wonderfully textured bowl of cereal that we enjoy again and again with a few different toppings.
This morning I made a quick blueberry compote to go with breakfast and topped the oatmeal with a mound of foam made in the Nespresso machine. I was wondering if Clooney would show up but he didn’t. You must have seen this Nespresso ad and this ad and this ad. There are several. I wasn’t really going to post the oatmeal recipe, it seems so basic, but received a picture of a bowl of still-cut oats with rhubarb compote from my sister-in-law who was having breakfast the Georgia Hotel in Vancouver and her enthusiasm made me think I should post the recipe.
You can make the blueberry compote in the time it takes to cook the cereal. If you are interested in a couple of variations for cooking oatmeal see these previous posts on this blog:
The Okanagan is coming to life now that spring is here. The Farmers Market is open on Saturdays and a couple of fruit stands are setting up along the highway. The wineries are featuring spring menus at the in-house winery restaurants and food and wine events are happening around the valley. Last weekend my friend and fellow food blogger Val of More than Burnt Toast and I checked out a couple of winery restaurants: The Kitchen at Misconduct winery and The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove. Both wineries are located on the Naramatha bench not far from Penticton and are easily accessible from Kelowna. Misconduct food and wine are the result of a partnership between a Mexican chef Abul Adame and Portuguese winemaker Richard da Silva. The menu at The Kitchen consists of tapas organized by “five bucks” and “ten bucks” small courses as well as a “19 bucks” large plates and a few dessert offerings. We sat on their covered patio overlooking vineyards and the mountains in the background with a patio heater beside us to take the edge off the cool air. Val and I ordered a few items for a shared lunch and a rosé for Val and a crisp white for me rounded it up nicely.
Here is what we tried:
Toasted walnut, chickpea and roasted garlic spread
Red beet and mint salad
Cheese (Port Salut)
Fresh baked baguette
From there we drove back towards Penticton and stopped at the Vanilla Pod restaurant at Poplar Grove winery. The restaurant, operated by Paul and sheila Jones, was moved to the winery from it’s prior location in Summerland. It seems like a good move. The winery occupies an ultra modern spacious structure with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the valley offering breathtaking view of the lake and Penticton. The stylish architecture seems to be matched by equally stylish cuisine. The menu, surprisingly, features tapas as well and you can even have a paella there. Since we already had lunch we tried their desserts. I had an orange and almond cake with mascarpone cream and lavazza Amerciano and Val tried their gelato that came in a rather large serving. We didn’t sit in the restaurant as they have a few high tables set along the windows in the large and bright tasting room. It was beautiful to sit there with the gorgeous views spread in front of us. We definitely have to go back soon. I must try their pizza.
1 cup large flake or steel cut oats
4 cups water
Dash of salt
Bring water to a full boil.
Add salt and cereal, lower heat and cook at a steady simmer until done. You can add some more water if necessary towards the end of the cooking.
When the cereal is cooked through cover with a lid and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
1 basket blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Place blueberries, water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and cook, stirring frequently, until a syrupy consistency is reached.
Spoon some cereal into two bowls, top with blueberry compote. If you have a foaming gadget or a Nespresso, foam up some milk and spoon it on top of the cereal.