skirlie (vegetarian)

Clicking onto Buzzfeed’s reliable list of 21 Delicious Scottish Treats Everyone Should Try resulted in a lot of foods I had tried or was at least familiar with, and then something called Skirlie.

2014-02-06 19.23.01

After some googling, this turned out to be savoury sautéd oats that can be served as a side dish, or a vegetarian alternative to haggis (if the traditional beef-dripping is omitted) – or breakfast or lunch, it seems really versatile. I thought I’d try it for dinner with some spinach mixed in, and it was fairly tasty and filling – plus all the ingredients were to hand, which is ideal if you’re running low on food or ideas!

(per person)

70g / 2/3 of a cup of rolled oats
1.5 tbsp butter
1 small onion / 2 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs / 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 handful frozen spinach
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs

  1. Heat the butter and soften the onion, taking care not to burn it.  Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
  2. Add the herbs, reduce the heat, and stir in the oats – cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Meanwhile, add the frozen spinach to the now-boiling water and leave until almost cooked. Then, poach the eggs – if you want it to be pretty, do it in another pot, but I just made my whirlpool in the spinach-pot and plopped each egg in the middle. I got a few stray wispy white bits, but it cooked fine.
  4. While the egg is cooking, pick out the spinach using a slotted spoon and stir into the oats along with a little water if you’d like. Top with pepper.
  5. Serve immediately, ideally in warmed bowls.
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