I know that the last thing the food blogging world needs is another oatmeal recipe, but this one is very special. I first had Moroccan oatmeal at an amazing little brunch place called the Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland, Oregon. We all mocked the person who ordered it–who orders oatmeal at a nice restaurant?–but once we tasted it, we were singing a different tune. It was hearty and spicy, full of cinnamon and cardamom and studded with chunks of dried fruit, which had become melt-in-your mouth soft and sweet during cooking. I’ve never had a better bowl of oatmeal in my life. This is my attempt to recreate it.
First, add 1/2 cup oats and 1 tbsp pine nuts to a dry pot. Also add spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, a touch of tumeric and a pinch of salt. Turn on the heat and let the mixture toast until it begins to smell good. Then add 1 cup water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Next, add dried fruit: diced dates, apricots and raisins. Be prepared: the dried fruit will rehydrate and suck up a lot of the water, so you may need to add extra water to maintain the consistency of the oatmeal as you want it. Now add brown sugar to taste. The dates and apricots a lot of sweetness, so if you really want to, you can skimp on or leave out the sugar, but to get the full experience, you should really add it with a reasonably liberal hand…there is something magical about the interplay between the spices and the rich sweetness of the brown sugar. Cook the oatmeal to your desired consistency and enjoy!