Goldilocks' Patient Porridge (Oatmeal Mushroom Risotto)

Lizzy Saxe

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a story of instant gratification.

Goldilocks tries over and over to take what she wants without earning it and finds just as many times that it gets thrown back in her face.

She tries to eat the Bears’ porridge, and it’s too hot.

She tries to sit in Little Bear’s chair, and it breaks.

And finally, once she’s found the exact right bed to sleep in, her treachery is discovered and she has to run for her life.

By making this dish, a savory risotto with porridge oats instead of rice, you will learn the patience to not repeat Goldie’s mistakes.


2 tbsp butter or olive oil

1 yellow onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups steel-cut oats

3/4 pound shiitake and crimini mushrooms, sliced thin

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

About 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped fine

Lemon zest to taste

Greek yogurt or labneh to serve


Heat the butter or oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the oats and cook until they start to smell nutty, about 2 minutes. Then, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and once the bottom of the pan is clean, add in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 3 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the oatmeal has absorbed most of the liquid. Add more of the stock as needed and continue to cook until the oatmeal is tender about 25 minutes total.

Stir in the parsley along with the lemon zest. Divide the oatmeal among serving bowls and top each with some of the remaining parsley and a nice dollop of yogurt.

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I write about the past, present, and future of food and the human condition. Also sometimes snacks.

Brooklyn, NY

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