As with so many things, I’m a late adaptor.
For years I’ve heard of friends’ mad granola love and I had no desire to jump onto that bandwagon.
I’ve never been much of a cereal lover– however delicious it may be–and so it wasn’t until one day recently that I mixed Greek yogurt with some friend’s gifted granola that I got an inkling as to what the hoopla was all about.
Turns out making granola is almost as easy as making croutons; you just toss the solid with an aromatic liquid and allow a quick stop in a hot oven to do the heavy lifting.
Knowing this week that I’m about to go to a big family reunion, I decided to make a lot of granola to take with me.
I made three different versions to take with me, all using a recipe my Dad sent me from New York Times Cooking website. The recipe was written by Laurent Tourondel, an Executive Chef at the helm of a NYC restaurant group who has snagged a coveted three stars from the stingy NYT.
If a chef of this caliber puts his stamp of approval on a granola recipe, you know it has to be solid.
I used the recipe modifying each slightly with different additions.
So I made this one — a Cherry Coconut with dried cranberries and figs.
My second version was Chocolate-Orange, using two different kinds of chocolate (semi-sweet chips and shaved bittersweet).
These two are great with yogurt or for just snacking, like an M and M devoid trail mix.
The third type I made is my favorite topping for salads, crostini, open-faced tartine style sandwiches and grains.
Behold the Savory Granola (this one deviated a bit from the below recipe but I hope to include this local recipe soon).
This version has those steel cut oats and almonds plus quinoa, chia, flax seeds and teff, another kind of grain and just enough pistachios to keep it interesting.
Where was this granola when I needed it most earlier on in the week?
(This granola atop an avocado toast is spectacular.)
I’m not sure how I’m going to pack ten pounds of granola, but I know that there are plenty of mouths to feed where I’m going.
Whose suitcase has room for this?
Off tomorrow for two weeks of fun.
- 2 C. old-fashioned oats
- 2 C. unsweetened cornflakes (I didn't have any, I just used more thick oats)
- 1 C. steel cut oats
- 1 C. sliced almonds
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ C. honey
- ½ C. maple syrup
- ¼ C. canola oil
- finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped ( I didn't have, used 1 Tbs. vanilla extract)
- other add-ins that I think work with this are any of the following: unsweetened coconut, dried figs/cherries/cranberries/orange, hazelnuts, chocolate, pecans, pistachios, crystallized ginger and poppy seeds as well as other kinds of grains like quinoa
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, cornflakes, steel-cut oats, almonds, salt and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
- In a large saucepan,combine honey, maple syrup, canola oil, orange zest and split vanilla beans and their pulp. Place over medium heat and boil for 1 minute. Discard vanilla beans, and pour hot liquid over dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix until well combined.
- Line a large rimmer baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread evenly with the granola. Bake until golden brown and evenly toasted, tossing about halfway through, 10mto 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and place on a rack to cool; mxture will be sioft and stick while hot, but will dry and become crisp as it cools.
- When granola is completely cool and dry, break into bite size pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.