I realise that I’ve been a bit rubbish at regularly updating my blog recently – what with work, writing, frantically making lots of pom pom bunting for a recent charity craft fair and the inevitable neverending to-do list that comes with the run up to Christmas I’ve been very busy! I’m planning on posting some more seasonal recipes very soon, but firstly I must share these super scrummy but non-festive (ruby red tomato flecks and snowy feta notwithstanding) creations.
The idea for these was spawned from the porridge bars I blogged about here: https://cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/virtuous-fruity-porridge-bars-sinful-nutella-porridge-bars/. This time I wanted a lunchbox snack that wasn’t sweet but I couldn’t be bothered to make bread…which I will attempt one day; actual, proper bread, with yeast. Not soda bread. Maybe. Anyway, while the sound of tomato and cheese porridge in the traditional sense sounds grim at best, I couldn’t see any reason why applying the same method as before, but replacing the sweet ingredients with savoury ones, wouldn’t work. I’m pleased to say that the experiment paid off and the results are very tasty, with a great medley of flavours; the closest thing I can think to compare them to is corn bread. They are delicious served hot or cold and, most importantly, they do not taste like savoury porridge!
I needed something with a mushy consistency to replace the apple compote/Nutella required for the sweet versions and ended up throwing some bits and bobs together to create a surprisingly flavoursome cheat’s chutney. It took all of five minutes to prepare in the microwave so I thought I’d share this recipe too. You could, of course, just use the shop-bought kind but this is so easy to throw together using only most basic of storecupboard ingredients.
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 15 bars
For the bars:
- 300g oats
- 3 tbsp chutney (see recipe below)
- 50g sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 50g feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
- 225ml milk
- Pinch of black pepper
For the chutney (yields roughly enough for the above recipe plus 1 small jar):
- 3-4 apples (any kind will do)
- 4 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp water
- 0.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the chutney:
- Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks no bigger than a 50p piece, then place in a heatproof bowl or large jug.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir, then place in the microwave on a medium to high heat for 2 minutes.
- Stir again and put back in the microwave for a further 3 minutes, or until the apple chunks are soft enough to squash with a spoon.
- Leave to cool before spooning into a clean jar.
For the oat bars:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line a rectangular cake tin with baking parchment.
- Pour the oats into a large mixing bowl, then add the chutney, sundried tomatoes, feta, milk and pepper. Stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin then pop in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes, or until the mixture feels fairly firm and slightly crisp to the touch.
- Allow to cool and slice into bars with a sharp knife.