Can oats taste like rice?
The folks who sell Cavena Nuda seem to think so.
Cavena Nuda is a Canadian innovation: a new hull-less form of oats. The oat grows with the hull, but it falls off much more easily than standard oats. Regular oats need to be heated and milled until they can be de-hulled. As such, they are more environmentally sound and nutritionally superior to regular oats. After Angela tried them, it took me a while to find them but I eventually located it at Ambrosia and later at Bulk Barn.
They don’t taste like oats, though. Cavena nuda is the complete oat kernel, so while they are in the shape of rice, they remind me more of farro or oblong wheat berries than rice per se.
That didn’t stop me from trying to cook it into a risotto-style dish, though. Lacking rice and cheese, I am hard pressed to call this a risotto but it is a nice meal. Since it has a few components, this is a dish that will dirty up a few pots but it is delicious and worth the effort. To simplify the recipe, you could skip the tempeh as it was good even without it, although it adds a flavourful protein component.
Here, you cook up the cavena nuda (or farro, or rice, or even orzo as Isa suggests), which is added to some cooked onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Spinach is wilted at the end. The topping is a crumbled tempeh spiced with fennel and coriander. It is a nice addition but certainly not necessary if you are short on time, or short on tempeh. ;)
Other dishes with farro I’ve spotted:
Scarlet Rosemary Chickpea Farrotto from Keepin It Kind
Farrotto with Tomato and Artichokes from Eating Well
Farrotto with Shiitake Mushrooms and Beets from TasteFood
Spiced sprouting broccoli with roast parsnip farrotto and citrus-rosemary butter from For the Love of Food
Purple sprouting broccoli with leek and shallot farrotto from Denis Cotter at BBC
Risotto-Style Farro with Caramelized Onions, Squash, and Kale from Cate’s World Kitchen
Baked Coconut Kale Salad with Farro from Super Natural Every Day
Farro and Millet Risotto from 101 Cookbooks
Naked Oats with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes and Crumbled Tempeh
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen
1 cup cavena nuda, farro, rice or 8 oz orzo
2.5 cups water or vegetable broth
8 oz tempeh
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then julienned
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 bunch spinach, destemmed (~300g prepped)
1. Rinse cavena nuda and place in a medium pot with 2.5 cups salted water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Strain excess water and then allow to steam by placing the lid back on. Set aside until needed.
2. Meanwhile, tear the tempeh into bite-sized pieces and place in a microwave safe dish with 1 cm of water. Microwave on medium-high for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and set aside until needed.
3. Meanwhile, soak your sun-dried tomatoes and chop your veggies.
4. In a separate, small nonstick frypan, heat it over medium heat. Add the tempeh, mashing it into crumbles with your spatula as you brown it for 10 minutes. Add the spices and soy sauce, and saute another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover until ready to use.
5. Heat a large frypan with oil over medium heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
6. Add rosemary, wine and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and turn the heat up to bring the sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat and allow to reduce by about half, around 5 minutes.
7. Stir in broth and nutritional yeast. Add the spinach in handfuls, letting each batch wilt before adding the next. Cook until spinach is thoroughly wilted then turn the heat off, add the cavena nuda, mix well, and serve topped with tempeh crumbles.