Monday, December 8, 2014

Farro and Oat Porridge with Pomegranates and Pistachios - IHCC December Mystery Box Madness!

Mystery Box Madness at I Heart Cooking Clubs is here again! I love this theme where we're provided with a list of ten ingredients from which we are to use at least three in a dish from any of the featured chefs. The ingredients this month were: chocolate, cherries, cinnamon, oats, couscous, pomegranate, curry (powder/paste), coconut milk, lentils, hot peppers/chillies.
I needed a reprieve from all of the sweets and rich foods that have started to appear during this festive season (some of which I've been guilty of making!) and made Spelt and Oat Porridge with Pomegranates and Pistachios, from Diana Henry's book A Change of Appetite. This was a warming bowl of hot cereal made with farro used in place of spelt and oats, and topped with pomegranates and pistachios. Not included in the original recipe, and as my third "mystery box" ingredient, I added a cinnamon stick to the farro cooking water and again to the farro-oat-milk mixture so the porridge would be infused with its flavour.

The steel-cut oats* took twice as long to cook and needed twice as much liquid as the recipe indicated, which was actually more in keeping with the package directions, and I added a little salt to the porridge along with the sugar. Not a quick cooking cereal, I made it on a Sunday to enjoy during the week adding just a splash of milk while reheating it to restore its original creaminess.

Perked up with tart pomegranate arils and crunchy pistachios, who wouldn't want to start their day with this nourishing bowl of goodness. 

* in my North American edition, this ingredient is listed as "steel-cut rolled oats", a form that doesn't exist; the cooking instructions in the recipe would have worked for rolled oats

I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone else used the Mystery Box ingredients


  1. Hi Zosia,
    A delicious, nutritious bowl of yumminess, a wonderful start for any day! The addition of pomegranate makes it all the more refreshing! A fragrant idea to add the cinnamon stick!

  2. That sounds really good. I need to get into hot cereals now the weather is cold! I usually skip breakfast.

  3. I came really close to making this for the challenge--I love the color from the pomegranate and pistachios. Very festive! ;-)

  4. I love how you add the beautiful colours, taste and textures to this good ol' oat porridge. It's also very apt for upcoming Xmas :)

  5. Love that you used pomegranate in thsi.


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