steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

I don’t skip breakfast (or any meal, for that matter); in fact it’s my growling stomach that motivates me out of bed and into the kitchen every morning.

Many days I like to make oatmeal with cherries or blueberries, with some homemade almond milk. Otherwise, I’m a person in search of savories and a soft-boiled or poached egg is usually my go-to. Going out for breakfast doesn’t happen often either, but last time I had a friend visiting from out of town I took her to one of my favorite local restaurants, where we had brunch on a Sunday morning.

steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

One of the specials on the menu that day were steel cut oats with olive oil and black pepper; the unexpected twist on a usually sweet breakfast preparation made me very happy. I wondered why I didn’t cook steel cut oats at home regularly..hmm, let’s see. Could it be that 2 minutes in the microwave for rolled oats versus more than 10 times that much on the stovetop has something to do with it? Um, yeah. 

But after experimenting on a few cold mornings recently, I found that steel cut oats can take under 30 minutes to cook – totally agreeable, even for someone with a hollow, hungry stomach. Adding a poached egg and Pecorino cheese makes this one a new favorite for me.  Plus, a batch can be cooked ahead and reheated in a microwave to have on multiple mornings (stir in a little water first).

When I made the poached eggs for this post, I tried a method from Dorie Greenspan for soft-boiling eggs in little plastic-wrapped bundles – you can make perfectly cooked eggs with neat, ruffly shapes and a not-too runny yolk (exactly 5 minutes cooking time). It’s a great trick, but also an extra step I might try on weekend mornings when there’s more time to fuss.

steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

Serving Size: 3 - 4 servings

steel cut oats, pecorino and poached egg

You can make the oats ahead of time and refrigerate. Stir in a little water and reheat.


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons best quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • A hunk of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Fresh, coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 3 - 4 eggs, depending on servings
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar


  1. Put the oats and 3 1/2 cups water into a small saucepan along with 1/2 teaspoon salt; use 4 cups if you prefer a more porridgey texture. Bring to a boil, stir the oats, then lower heat to a slow simmer.
  2. Cook until most of the water is absorbed (stirring occasionally) and the oats begin to get creamy, 25 - 30 minutes (they won't be totally soft at this point, but pleasantly chewy).
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil. Grate enough of the Pecorino on the fine side of a grater or Microplane to make 1/4 cup and stir it in; add about 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. When the oats are almost ready, bring a small skillet of water to a boil with the vinegar - a non-stick pan makes for easier cleaning. Crack the eggs into the water and adjust the heat down from a boil to a simmer. Cook the eggs until they are done to your liking, about 5 minutes for softly-set yolks.
  5. Serve the oats with a poached egg on top. Use a swivel vegetable peeler to shave additional Pecorino over the top.


  1. Ooh, that egg looks so wonderful! I love the idea of punching up a savory oatmeal with the richness of egg yolk. 🙂

  2. Poached eggs are my go-to when I want something fast and nourishing, love them!

  3. Cooking the eggs in plastic wrap- wouldn’t that egg absorb some plastic? Sounds good otherwise, but no plastic in my food please… Just poach in boiling water with a little vinegar and drain…


  1. […] Αβγά με βρώμη; Κι όμως ο γευστικός συνδυασμός θα σε εκπλήξει ευχάριστα. Αν προσθέσεις και percorino θα το απογειώσεις! (via FamilystyleFood) […]

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