Let me just say that I LOVE working at home virtually! There are just so many perks. Since I don't have to focus so much attention on getting ready (packing lunches, gathering supplies, commuting, working the car rider line, etc.) I have way more time to focus on breakfast! This is great for me because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!
This is NOT your ordinary bowl of oatmeal. In fact, it's not really oatmeal at all. It's two parts pearl barley and one part oatmeal, so if anything it is truly a barley bowl...and it is THE BREAKFAST BOWL! The chew and pop of the barley with the sweetness of the fruit and maple syrup is definitely something worth waking up for! Trust me when I say that there is no going back to regular oatmeal after you have this! You will be adding barley to all of your breakfast bowls from here on out.
This is one of those recipes that grows on you. You make it and eat it the first time and thinkingy, "well that was pretty good, but I don't know if I'd spend an hour cooking it again." Then later on in the day you find yourself thinking about it and so happy you leftovers for the next morning. When the next morning comes you've been thinking about that warm comforting breakfast bowl with the pop of the barley and the slight fruity sweetness from the raspberries. You imagine the maple syrup glistening and making the berries shine. You can hardly wait to warm up your breakfast bowl and you are so thankful that you made enough for today. You suddenly love this hearty comforting breakfast bowl that is warming your soul. You are sad there are no more leftovers and you are sad it will take an hour to cook it again. But, this time, after craving it all week, you will not mess around and make half of the recipe. You will make the WHOLE batch!
That is the story of how I came to love these breakfast bowls. I made the recipe again today. The whole batch. I am so happy I can look forward to eating this for breakfast for the next few days.
Whole-Grain Breakfast Bowl
Adapted from Modern Comfort Food
by Ina Garten
1 cup pearled barley (see note)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole milk, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup medium-diced pitted, dried dates (6 to 8 dates)
1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts*
6 ounces raspberries, or more to your liking
Pure maple syrup, for serving
Note: Make sure you buy "pearled" barley, which has been processed so it cooks faster. Also, I don't care for hazelnuts so I subbed them for sliced almonds. In my opinion, the raspberries really make this recipe pop, so I opt to use a little more than the recipe calls for.
Combine the barley, salt, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add the oats plus 2 cups water, return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes, until the barley is tender and the oats are creamy. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup milk.
Spoon the barley and oats into four shallow bowls. Sprinkle with the dates, raspberries, and hazelnuts, drizzle with maple syrup, and pour on some milk. Serve hot.