Peter Taylor
Grains & Oats
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Grains & Oats

Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina, Steven Devereaux Green - January/February 2012

For 12 servings (requires advanced preparation)


  • 4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 1/3 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 tsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  1. Heat oven to 250°F.

  2. Place oats in large bowl; reserve.

  3. Bring butter, syrup, honey, cinnamon, and salt to a boil in a pot; cook 2 minutes; pour over oats; mix with a spatula; divide between 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper; bake, stirring occasionally, until brown (about 25 minutes); remove from oven.

  4. Place granola on cool baking sheets; break up into small pieces; cool; place in airtight container; reserve.

Almond puree:

  • 2 cups raw peeled almonds
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 2 oz. almond paste
  • 2 Tbsps. salt
  1. Place almonds and almond milk in large bowl; refrigerate overnight.

  2. Place almonds, almond milk, and almond paste in large saucepan set over low heat; cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by 50 percent and almonds are very soft; remove from heat; strain almond mixture through fine chinois into clean bowl; place almonds in a blender; add just enough cooking liquid mixture to help almonds blend; blend until smooth; stir in salt; strain through fine chinois into squeeze bottle with fine tip; reserve in refrigerator.

Pumpkin custard:

  • 1 sugar pumpkin, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 lg. eggs
  • 9 lg. egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsps. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  1. Heat oven to 225°F.

  2. Bring pumpkin and cream to a boil in heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pot; reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring frequently, until pumpkin is softened; remove from heat; place pumpkin mixture in a blender; blend until smooth.

  3. Whisk pumpkin puree, whole eggs, and egg yolks in large stainless-steel bowl; whisk in salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; strain through fine chinois into clean bowl.

  4. Pour custard into 3-oz. fleximolds; place in large baking dish; add warm water to come up sides halfway; bake until custards are just slightly jiggly (about 25 minutes); remove from oven; freeze until cold; remove from molds; reserve in refrigerator.


  • 1/4 cup aged Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. wildflower honey
  • 3/4 cup pistachio oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Whisk vinegar and honey in small stainless-steel bowl; gradually add oil, whisking constantly; whisk until emulsified; whisk in salt; reserve.


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
  • 2 Tbsps. chives, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps. tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, cut into brunoise
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Place quinoa in medium saucepan; add water to cover; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; cook until quinoa is tender but has a little bite; drain quinoa in fine-mesh strainer; spread out quinoa on baking sheet lined with paper towels; dry completely.

  2. Place quinoa in large bowl; add pistachios, chives, tarragon, and shallot; mix well; add 1/4 cup vinaigrette; toss to coat; add salt; season with pepper; mix well; cover with plastic wrap; reserve in refrigerator.

Golden raisin puree:

  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup cream Sherry
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  1. Bring raisins and wine to a boil in small saucepan; reduce heat to medium-low; cook until reduced by 50 percent; add 2 cups water; bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by 50 percent and raisins are tender; remove from heat.

  2. Place raisins and cooking liquid in a blender; blend until smooth; stir in salt; strain through fine chinois into a bowl; cool; cover with plastic wraps; reserve.

Barley risotto:

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lg. onion, cut into sm. dice
  • 2 cups pearl barley
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cup Chablis
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, warmed
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 lb. buffalo Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary, minced
  • broccoli florets, blanched (for serving)

Heat small amount of oil in Dutch oven set over medium-low heat; add onion; cook, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, until tender and translucent; add barley and bay leaf; cook, stirring, until aromatic; add wine; increase heat to medium; cook, stirring, until pan is dry; add 1 cup stock; cook, stirring, until liquid is completely absorbed; repeat with remaining liquid adding 1 cup at a time; cook until barley is tender but has a little bite; remove from heat; stir in butter; once butter has melted, stir in cheese until creamy and blended; stir in salt and rosemary; top with broccoli.


  • 2 cups raw pistachios, shelled
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pistachio oil
  • Muscovado sugar (for serving)
  • micro sorrel, micro chervil, micro celery (for serving)
  • brown butter (for pistachios)
  1. Place pistachios in medium saucepan; add 4 cups water; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low; cook, adding rosemary halfway through cooking, until water takes on a green hue (about 45 minutes, adding more water if needed to prevent liquid from cooking completely dry); remove from heat; drain nuts in fine chinois set over a bowl; add salt and oil to broth; reserve; reserve nuts separately.

  2. To serve, sprinkle pumpkin custards with sugar; brûlée with a torch; place a custard on one side of square serving plate; garnish with granola; squeeze a few dots almond puree on top and on plate around custard; place individual casserole dish on opposite side of plate; fill halfway with barley risotto; garnish with micro sorrel, chervil, and celery; in remaining open space, spoon small amount of raisin puree in straight line; place quenelle of quinoa salad in center of puree; chop reserved pistachios; toss with a little brown butter; sprinkle over quinoa salad; sprinkle more micro greens around plate; pour pistachio broth over risotto tableside.

What to drink: Heitz Chardonnay Napa Valley 2008