Celebrate spring — and asparagus — with this simple and delicious savory oatmeal recipe
Growing up under the care of a mother who’d rather forage for mushrooms than spend time in a mall, I have fond memories of the early spring countdown. The time of year when the snow finally showed signs of defeat, giving way to mud and the smell of thawing earth, and green things — shoots and sprouts and buds — began to make their appearance, the countdown to when we could finally get out and start planting and hunting for wild things to eat. Of course, in rural Maine, this was sometimes much later in the season than the rest of country (I once went skiing in May), so when those signs of spring finally arrived it was cause for major celebration. Once the last frost had passed and the leaves were out, we knew it was only a matter of time that the harbinger of spring produce would peek from the ground: the wild asparagus. A small patch grew conveniently next to our garden, and I loved being granted the job of ferreting out the stalks, snapping them off low, to be steamed up for dinner. Years later, I always keep an eye out for the first sign of fresh asparagus at the market. A sign that spring has truly arrived; their vibrant green stalks a welcome change from a winter’s worth of roasted roots.
It might surprise you to learn that I am not the one that does the cooking in my house. Shocker, I know. But one look at my repertoire and you’ll understand why: I like to bake, and I like food in bowls, and that’s about how far things go. But while I love a hearty meal prepared for me with love, on nights when I’m left to my own devices I’ll happily subsist off of food-in-bowls. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Salads, less often soups, but usually just a pile of vegetables with an egg on top, these dishes are simple and satisfying and to the point. In honor of the first spring asparagus of the year finally making an appearance at the farmers’ market, today I’m sharing this bowl full of goodness that’s not only delicious, but incredibly easy to make. If you’re looking for the perfect Saturday morning breakfast (or lunch, or dinner), this is it.
Savory Asparagus Breakfast Bowl
Serves 1 (double or triple ingredients to serve more)
1 cup water
1/2 cup organic rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
Pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch of turmeric
3 fresh asparagus stalks
2 tsp + 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, flax oil, or avocado oil
1 tsp parsley, roughly chopped
Optional: 1 soft-boiled egg, peeled; 1 tbsp goat cheese
How to make the perfect soft boiled egg: Bring a small pot of water to a rapid boil. Use a spoon to drop a fresh, refrigerated egg gently into the water. Boil the egg on high heat for six minutes. When the timer goes off, use the spoon to remove the egg from the hot water and run it under a cold faucet for a few seconds. Roll the shell on the countertop to loosen, then carefully peel.
For the oatmeal: In a small pot, bring the water to a boil and add the oats and salt. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until water is absorbed and oats are cooked, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and salt + pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
For the asparagus: Rinse asparagus stalks in fresh water and snap off the woody lower stalk (bend the asparagus at the bottom and it should snap off naturally where the tough, part begins). Cut stalks in half and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender and bright green, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the bowl: Place oats in a small bowl and top with micro greens, asparagus pieces, and egg and goat cheese, if using. Drizzle remaining teaspoon of oil over top and garnish with parsley and fresh cracked pepper.