Oatmeal is not a food I usually eat for dinner. Nor do I generally associate strawberries with the gas grill. That’s what I like about these two recipes–they’re a little unexpected. Both recipes came from newspapers. (Yes I am the only person under the age of 80 who still clips recipes from the paper.) The oatmeal salad recipe appeared in the Denver Post column of a local chef, whose wife created the dish. It would be perfect for a barbecue or a pot luck, if only to ad a decorative element of surprise: What? Oatmeal with a …dressing? I got the idea for the strawberries from the Wall Street Journal’s wonderful (and way too brief) Saturday food coverage. It’s an easy and healthy way to end a barbecue.
Adapted from John Broening’s column in the Denver Post
1 cup steel-cut oats (They really need to be steel cut or the salad will be..well..oatmealy.)
4 cups water
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup cooked black beans, drained and lightly rinsed
1 red, green or yellow pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
FOR THE DRESSING
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Bring oats and water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Turn down heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes–until al dente. (I know–it’s weird to think of oatmeal that way.) Drain and rinse the oats very well because this step removes the creaminess from the oats that makes them seem like they need a dollop of brown sugar, some raisins and a little milk. Chop the onion then submerge it in cold water for about 5 minutes. Rise the onions and add them to the salad along with the corn, beans, peppers and parsley. Blend or food process the lemon juice, cayenne, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add the olive oil. Pour this dressing over the salad. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Adapted from the Wall Street Journal
1 pint strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
vanilla frozen yogurt (for serving, optional)
Rinse and core strawberries. Spritz with nonstick spray and, unless they’re extremely flavorful, sprinkle with sugar. Heat gas grill to high for 15 minutes. Once the grill is hot, scrape it clean with a wire brush. (Or, scrape clean the hot grill you used to cook your dinner.) Place the strawberries on the grill, making sure the smaller berries do not fall through the holes in the grate. Cook, gently turning the berries until they have grill marks all over. Serve hot, with frozen yogurt.