Posts tagged ‘nasturtium risotto’

June 26, 2012

Nasturtium Oatotto (risotto made from oats) -Recipe

by Ciaran Burke

“Oatotto” – low food miles version of Risotto

Nasturtium Oatotto with strip loin steak

This is a low food mile version of Risotto using nasturtium leaves. We replace the arborio rice which is used for risotto with pinhead oats, this reduces our food miles. We can’t call it risotto if we don’t use rice so we call it Oatotto! This is something we have been experimenting with recently and we love it. Rice cannot be grown in Ireland but oats are. Pinhead oats are not as common as oat flakes but are available from health stores. As with risotto, the possibilities are endless…

Pinhead oats are also called steel cut oats in the United States, they are whole grain oats, the inner kernel of the oat that has been cut into pieces. Apparently they also known as Irish oats, but they are relatively uncommon in Ireland, perhaps they are more widely used in Northern Ireland as they are in Scotland. Pinhead oats have a slightly nuttier flavour than oat flakes, they are high in fibre and contain iron.

Pinhead oats can be used for porridge producing a coarser texture, they do, however, take longer to cook, as much as 35 minutes, making them ideal for “Oatotto”  I think they could be more widely used in cooking…

Nasturtium Oatotto Recipe


  • I cup of pinhead oats
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 red onion –finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 20 Nasturtium leaves – chopped
  • ½ cup of finely grated Mature white cheddar cheese
  • Oil for frying

Tropaeolum majus -Nasturtium foliage and flowers (orange)


  1. Saute the onions in oil until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.
  2. Stir in the oats and cook them for a few minutes
  3. Add the chicken stock, do not stir continuously, if you do the oats will turn into a porridge. Instead move them around occasionally to stop them burning.
  4. Continue cooking until the stock in mostly absorbed, 20-30 minutes. They should be soft but with a little bite, al dente!
  5. Then add the nasturtium leaves and cook for a few minutes.
  6. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cheese.
  7. Serve garnished with a nasturtium flower.

Serve with fresh garden salad or for carnivores, a nice organic striploin steak.

Tropaeolum majus -Nasturtium – flowers and foliage are edible and both have a nice peppery flavour!

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