A comforting bowl of savory porridge topped with harissa greens, spiced sunflower seeds, crispy garbanzos and a jammy egg
Heather Arndt Anderson / OPB


Superabundant dispatch: Savory winter porridge with greens and crispy chickpeas and this week’s news nibbles

By Heather Arndt Anderson (OPB)
Feb. 16, 2024 2 p.m.

A fond tribute to the Northwest’s whole grain hero

OPB’s “Superabundant” explores the stories behind the foods of the Pacific Northwest with videos, articles and this weekly newsletter. To keep you sated between episodes, Heather Arndt Anderson, a Portland-based culinary historian, food writer and ecologist, highlights different aspects of the region’s food ecosystem. This week she offers a recipe for savory winter porridge with garlicky greens, crispy garbanzos and a jammy egg.

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The witch hazel, camellias and Edgeworthia are blooming their hearts out. The daylight hours, ever-lengthening, are spurring the flickers to begin their territorial racket. They’re all saying one thing: We’re ready for spring! Ah, but that’s February Fake-Out for you — the next couple weeks’ weather isn’t certain, despite what local meteorological beaver Stumptown Fil has to say about it (and #neverforget the freak May snowstorm of 2022). Wintry blasts are still very much in the forecast for mid-elevations and higher, and frankly, we’re not quite ready to give up our cozy bowls of hot cereal.

When we heard the news that the co-founder of Bob’s Red Mill and health advocate Bob Moore recently died, we thought back to the oatmeal and creamy wheat porridges that have sustained us over the years, and the many trips to the mill itself to stock up on flours, bulk beans and whole grains. Today, their products are known internationally, but when Bob’s Red Mill was first up and running in Oregon, they had just one retail client. Do you know who it was? Read on to find out!

Remembering a whole grain hero, local noodle makes international news, yet another use for hemp, raising a glass to local wines, suing for salmon and good things in markets

Bidding farewell to a beloved local legend

After more than four decades of spreading the whole grain gospel, Bob Moore, co-founder of Bob’s Red Mill, died last week at the age of 94. A man dedicated to making wholesome foods accessible to the masses as well as sourcing hard-to-find grains, Moore provided a critical source of gluten-free products during a time when celiac disease was still a relatively unknown condition. A celebration of his life is currently planned for Saturday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Whole Grain Store, but until then, this week’s recipe is inspired by his tireless efforts to get people eating more healthfully.

Watch the Wheat episode of “Superabundant”

Oregon school lunch program in The Guardian

Lola Milholland, founder of Oregon’s prodigal noodle company, Umi Organic, wrote about how the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network helped change the state law, bringing local products (and Yakisoba Wednesday) to Oregon schools. The program brings close to 500 Oregon products to school cafeterias, up from 80 in 2016. Read her story in The Guardian.

Milking cannabis for all it’s worth

A new study led by Oregon State University’s Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences suggests that waste left from processing hemp could be a new feed additive for dairy cattle. Not only is the waste inexpensive, but the trial showed that adding spent biomass to feed could offer other benefits to cattle: It’s nutritious, boosted milk yield and reduced cows’ methane emissions.

Salud! Sunday, Feb. 18, is National Drink Wine Day

But in case you miss it, an homage to Northwest food and drink, the International Pinot Noir Celebration will be held in McMinnville this July, and some tickets are still available. (If reds aren’t your thing, Oregon also happens to produce some stellar chardonnays.)

Watch the Chardonnay episode of “Superabundant”

Salmon conservationists to sue government agencies

Two conservation groups have announced their intent to sue federal, state and local government agencies over violations of the Endangered Species Act. Operating hatcheries on the Lower Columbia, the agencies have exceeded the number of fish released into wild spawning grounds, a leading cause of decline in wild salmonid populations. Read more at The Islands’ Sounder.

Watch the Salmon episode of “Superabundant”

Good things in markets

Speaking of fish, fresh Dungeness crab has been coming in strong, and we’ve been seeing some really nice whole rockfish which, if it’s labeled “wild/USA,” probably means it was landed in Washington or Oregon. In other Northwest fish news, in case you missed it, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife opened the Cowlitz to one day of eulachon (smelt) dip netting yesterday (Feb. 15).

Winter citrus continues to wow us — we’ve been popping satsumas like candy — and we’re still eating lots of winter greens while we wait for nettles, pea shoots and arugula to start showing up. We’re just about finished with stored winter squash, which we’ve been transitioning to springtime flavors with more lamb and fresh herbs and less nutmeg.

Portland Farmers Market announced the deadline of this year’s Matt Choi farmers market vendor grant, which offers $1,500 to support new Portland-area food and farm businesses get off the ground. The deadline for applying is March 9.

A comforting bowl of savory porridge topped with harissa greens, spiced sunflower seeds, crispy garbanzos and a jammy egg.

A comforting bowl of savory porridge topped with harissa greens, spiced sunflower seeds, crispy garbanzos and a jammy egg.

Heather Arndt Anderson / OPB


Recipe: Savory winter porridge with garlicky greens and crispy za’atar chickpeas and a jammy egg

When Bob Moore and his wife Charlee opened Bob’s Red Mill in 1978, their only client was the Fred Meyer Nutrition Centers, which, according to ads in The Oregonian at the time, sold Bob’s seven-grain cereal in their bulk section, 31 cents a pound (on sale). By the time this newsletter writer began shopping directly from the bulk bins at the Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store in the early 2010s, Moore was a white-bearded, red-vested wizard, and spotting him in the store or upstairs restaurant left everyone in his affable wake utterly starstruck. He was a rich thread in our region’s culinary tapestry.

Moore would have turned 95 on Feb. 15 (we may have also baked a cinnamon applesauce cake to celebrate) but even though he’s no longer walking this mortal plane, his whole grain legacy lives on. Bob’s Red Mill still makes the seven-grain cereal that launched the company more than 40 years ago, and here it’s cooked as a savory porridge (like polenta, grits or congee) with a blend of seared winter greens, spiced and crispy-toasted garbanzos, smoky sunflower seeds and an egg cooked medium (jammy). Makes 4 servings.

Note: We like boiled eggs best when they’re cooked just a skosh past soft but not yet hard — when the yolk is semi-solid but still spreadable (like jam!), but please cook them according to your own preference and/or food safety needs.


2 tbsp olive oil, divided

¼ cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds

¼ tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of sugar


1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

1 tbsp za’atar (or other Middle Eastern spice blend)

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

8 cups chopped winter greens (such as kale, chard, escarole, etc.)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp harissa

1 tsp lemon zest

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or salted water)

1 ⅓ cups seven-grain hot cereal

4 boiled eggs, halved

Plain yogurt for serving (optional)


  1. Heat ½ teaspoon of the olive in a small pan over medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds and stir them around a little to coat, then add the smoked paprika, pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir it around for a few seconds, until fragrant and toasty, then turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the za’atar, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder and another pinch of salt, then add the chickpeas and stir to coat. Spread the chickpeas onto a small baking tray and roast until toasty and crispy (stirring occasionally), about 30 minutes.
  3. While the chickpeas are roasting, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the greens and minced garlic until the greens are wilted and a little scorched, about 5 minutes. Stir in the harissa, lemon zest and a couple pinches of salt. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the broth (or salted water) and the seven-grain cereal in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the cereal is creamy and smooth, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Divide the cooked porridge between 4 bowls, then top with the chickpeas, greens and egg, sprinkle on the toasted sunflower seeds and add a spoonful of yogurt. Drizzle on a little more oil if you like, then serve.

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