The Corner Bakery’s Chilled Swiss Oatmeal goes back to 1991 when the concept really was just one corner bakery at Clark and Grand in Chicago. Ric Scicchitano, head of all bakery and culinary for the restaurant back then, (and still head food guy now,) says the dish was born at a time when “we were testing all kinds of breakfast options.” In the beginning, it was simply called fresh muesli—the European name for the creamy, chilled grain/dairy/fruit version of the dish. But as Corner Bakery grew beyond Chicago and other large metro areas, “we found that there were fewer people who were familiar with muesli,” Scicchitano explains. Changing to the more descriptive “Chilled Swiss Oatmeal” title worked: The dish continues to be a strong seller.
Making Ric’s home-cook recipe for the dish just requires time and good, fresh ingredients. To make the “base” of the dish, the old-fashioned uncooked rolled oats need to be soaked in skim milk in the refrigerator overnight, then mixed with non-fat vanilla yogurt, banana, apple and dried fruit in the morning. For the fanciest Swiss Berry Almond version given here? Crown the “base” dish with a sprinkling of toasted chopped almonds, fresh strawberries and blueberries. And if you eat dairy or gluten free, simply substitute almond milk and soy-yogurt for the dairy ingredients, and chose rolled oats labeled, “gluten free.”
Makes 2 to 4 servings
Chilled Swiss Oatmeal Ingredients
- 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats (not the fast-cooking kind. NOTE: choose those labeled gluten free if you are gluten intolerant.)
- ½ cup skim milk (substitute almond or soy milk if you like)
- ¾ cup non-fat vanilla yogurt (substitute soy, or Greek, or whatever type you like best)
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 Tbsp dried currants
- ½ of a cored and unpeeled Granny Smith apple, chopped
- ½ of a ripe banana, chopped
- Dollop of yogurt to top each serving
- 1 Tbsp toasted almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup each sliced fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries
- In a medium-sized bowl, soak oats in milk (covered) in the refrigerator over night.
- In the morning, drain and discard any remaining liquid. Stir in ¾ cup yogurt, dried fruit, banana and apple.
- For prettiest presentation, spoon a dollop more of yogurt on top of each serving and sprinkle the berries and toasted almonds over the top.