Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I made that olive oil granola that everyone is talking about!

Ever since this granola recipe was published in the NY Times a few weeks ago I feel like I can't read a food blog without coming across a wild endorsement. My interest was already piqued when I read that the recipe contained one of my favorite flavor combos, savory and sweet. I have never seen a granola recipe call for kosher salt before, and I was intrigued. I finally decided to make it on a Sunday morning 2 weekends ago, and I have been enjoying is ever since. I actually just polished off the last of it this morning. Time to make more !

This is the original recipe with my notes/substitutions:

(The ingredients are pretty flexible. As long as you've got the right balance of oats/sweeteners/oil, you can really add pretty much anything.)

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, hulled (Omitted)

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled (Only used about 1/2 a cup)

1 cup coconut chips (Omitted)

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (Used a bit less.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt (I actually found the saltiness too subtle. But I REALLY like salt. If you also really like salt, I recommend adding another teaspoon. )

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I recommend adding extra if not using cardamom.)

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (Omitted)

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (Omitted)

Blanched whole almonds (1/2 cup)
Sunflower Seeds (1/2 cup)
Sesame Seeds (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (1/2 cup)
Dried cranberries (1/2 cup)

Fresh ricotta, for serving (optional)

Fresh berries, for serving (optional).

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, your selection of nuts, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom (if using). Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots (if using), tossing to combine. Serve with ricotta and fruit, if desired.

I think I understand why people are so crazy over the granola. As the Times article says, the olive oil gives the granola a unique, somewhat bitter and fruity flavor. The salt adds a nice layer of flavor as well. After the sweetness hits, that's when the salt comes through, creating a really interesting combination.

The only problem for me is that the unique flavor of the granola was somewhat overwhelmed when I combined this with yogurt - all I could really taste was the sweetness, and those other layers of flavor sort of disappeared. I think this granola might be best straight up by the handful. Of course, I didn't get a chance to try this with ricotta and berries like the author suggests, but perhaps that's another solution that would compliment the granola instead of overwhelming it. Something to keep in mind for the next batch.

Enjoying some granola at work, as I am known to do.

1 comment:

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