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Granola was the object of my first breakfast obsession (since then, it has been a rotating cast of oatmeal, toast, and muesli). My mom would make giant batches of honey, almond, and sesame granola every few months, pulling out the giant roasting pan and spending hours near the stove, stirring, as the cereal transformed from dry oats into a sweet, toasty treat. I'd eat it for breakfast with yogurt every morning throughout high school. I've since learned to make granola myself, falling in and out of love with various recipes.
Megan Gordon's apricot pistachio granola from her new cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, is a version of one of her company's best-sellers. She coats oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, pistachios, and sesame seeds with a sweet and savory mix of olive oil and maple syrup. A flurry of ground cardamom adds a floral note and a final sprinkle of dried apricots and crystalized ginger adds sweetness and a touch of heat. Gordon doesn't use any tricks to cook the granola; she just lets it roast low and slow until golden and crisp. The end result is simply a great granola, worthy of a new breakfast obsession.
Why I picked this recipe: I couldn't cook through Gordon's book without trying at least one of her granolas.
What worked: I loved the combination of savory pistachios, sweet apricots, spicy ginger, and floral cardamom.
What didn't: My oven is finicky and doesn't hold a consistent temperature, and I found that I needed to cook the granola about 15 minutes longer to get it to crisp up.
Suggested tweaks: If you'd like for your granola to form clusters, don't stir while the granola is cooking and cooling. Instead, be sure to pat the granola mixture firmly into the pan to ensure that it cooks evenly. Once the granola is cool, break it apart into pieces for storage.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.