Blackberry Steel Cut & Risotto Oatmeal


With a deep purple color often associated with luxury, nobility, power, and magic, the blackberry is rich in antioxidants, medicinal properties, and a glorious bursting wild juiciness. Unlike other summer berries, the blackberry retains its firm texture when cooked. Biting into a spoonful of this creamy risotto is an unexpected hedonistic breakfast experience. Indulgent for sure, healthy, and visually gorgeous, this preparation is perfect for breakfast in bed for someone special or for a lazy Sunday morning in the garden reading The New York Times.


1/2 cup McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

1 cup carnaroli risotto rice

1/2 cup half & half

1 vanilla bean


1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 pint blackberries 


1. In a SMALL POT, bring 2 cups of cold water and the steel cut oats to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds using the edge of a spoon or small knife. Reserve.

3. In a MEDIUM POT, combine the rice, half & half, vanilla bean pod and seeds. Add just enough cold water to barely cover the rice. Cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed. Repeat the process, adding 1 cup of water at a time until the rice is al dente. This will take about 3 1/2 to 4 cups of water and about 30 minutes. The risotto should have a creamy, slightly soupy consistency (add more water if the rice and oatmeal seems to thick, 1/4 at a time).

4. In a TINY POT, smash 1 cup of the blackberries and stir over medium heat until the berries release their juice and create a slurry, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Remove the rice from the heat, and stir in the cooked oatmeal and the chia seeds. Divide the oatmeal mixture among the 4 bowls.

6. Add 1/4 of the blackberry slurry to each bowl. Use a spoon in a circular motion to create a swirl pattern (try to avoid turning the entire bowl purple).

7. Add the remaining blackberries to the bowls and pass the MAPLE SYRUP at the table. Serve immediately.


Kitchen Notes

To toast the almonds, simply place them in a dry GRATIN over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Arborio rice may be substituted for the carnaroli rice. However, be extra vigilant when cooking the arborio as it is easy to overcook and may result in a mushier texture. Add 1 tablespoon flax seeds for additional protein, fiber, and nutrients. Use only 100% pure maple syrup as a sweetener. Weston Table’s Barrel-Aged syrup is a classic Vermont tapped syrup with a luxurious twist.