Earlier this month we spent a long weekend on Nantucket. We were there for the wedding of friends, and stayed in a small hotel called 76 Main near the center of town. The hotel offered breakfast to its guests, so the first morning we headed to the breakfast room expecting platters of scrambled eggs, ham, and bacon plus baskets of toasts, bagels, and muffins. Instead we gazed upon a beautiful buffet of light, colorful small plates featuring fruits, vegetables, and grains as well as both savory and sweet baked goods.
There were small bowls of crispy fried kale leaves served with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, wedges of cheese garnished with walnuts and glistening jam, and plates of melon and mint. Onion and cheddar scones caught my eye too. But, the small Mason jars filled with delicious overnight oats topped with dried fruits and nuts were my favorite.
Turns out that these oats are 76 Main’s signature dish, so the hotel happily shared the recipe. Prepared the night before, uncooked rolled oats are mixed with yogurt, milk, orange juice, and a sweetener of your choice. The next morning, more milk or half and half is stirred in, and the creamy oats spooned into jars or ramekins and garnished with dried fruits and nuts. When I served one to a friend recently she said, “Not your mother’s oatmeal!” She was right. These extra special oats are perfect to start your morning on Nantucket or elsewhere, and they’re also easily transportable to take to work for a breakfast on the go.
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Nantucket Overnight Oats
2 cups rolled oats (Use original not quick cooking oats.)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp kosher salt
The Next Morning
1/3 cup or more whole milk
1/3 cup or more Half and Half
1/2 cup finely diced unpeeled apple such as Honey Crisp
2 tbsp dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp finely diced apricots coarsely chopped
2 tbsp golden raisins
2 tbsp pecans toasted and coarsely chopped
1. The night before, stir together the oats, yogurt, 1 cup milk, brown sugar, orange juice and zest, and salt. Refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
2. In the morning the mixture will be quite thick. Stir in 1/3 cup each milk and Half and Half, plus more for a looser consistency. Then stir in the apple. (The oats can be prepared 1 day ahead; keep covered and refrigerated. )
3. Fill six 1/2 cup glass canning jars or ramekins with the oat mixture. Garnish each with dried fruits and pecans. Makes 6 servings.