Savory oatmeal is a concept I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I love how it takes a run-of-the-mill food like oatmeal and turns it into a blank canvas for myriad possibilities. This recipe is a stick-to-your ribs kind of meal, ideal for chilly weekend mornings that implore you to stay in your PJ’s just a little while longer. The oatmeal provides a creamy and satisfying base for this breakfast bowl; the garlic-lemon kale gives it heartiness and a bit of brightness from the lemon.
Now, for the shiitake bacon. Let me just warn you that once you taste it and learn how simple it is to make, you will want it atop everything thereafter. Shiitake bacon is chewy, crispy, salty and savory – an extraordinarily yummy topping for basically any savory dish. Like the brilliant cashew cream, this is another trick I learned at Natural Gourmet Institute.
For the shiitake bacon:
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the oatmeal and assembly:
- 3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or cashew milk (or half milk, half water)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided, plus more for eggs
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
- 1 small bunch curly kale, stemmed, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1–2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 eggs
To make shiitake bacon:
- Preheat oven to 375F. On a large baking sheet, toss mushrooms with oil and salt. Roast in a single layer, tossing once halfway through cooking, until browned and crispy, 15-18 minutes. Set aside.
To make oatmeal and assemble:
- In a medium pot, bring milk to a boil with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Stir in oats and cook uncovered until oatmeal is thickened and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add kale and toss to coat in oil. Season with black pepper and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until kale starts to wilt and brown in places, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with a lid. Let kale steam until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove lid and cook until all water is evaporated, about 1 minute. Turn heat off and add lemon juice. Taste and season with salt or lemon juice, if needed.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Melt butter and break eggs into skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until whites are set and edges are browned, 3-4 minutes.
- To serve, divide oatmeal among 4 bowls and top with kale, shiitake bacon and eggs.