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.
Reprinted with permission from Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon. Copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Makes about 8 cups
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:50 minutes, plus cooling time
- 3 cups / 300 g rolled oats
- 1 cup / 130 g raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup / 130 g raw pepitas
- 1/2 cup / 60 g raw sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup / 60 g raw sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml maple syrup
- 1/2 cup / 75 g finely chopped dried apricots (about 10 dried apricots)
- 1/4 cup / 25 g diced crystallized ginger
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, pistachios, pepitas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Add the vanilla, olive oil, and maple syrup and stir to combine. I use my hands at this point so that all of the wet and dry ingredients are evenly mixed together. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer.
Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure the granola bakes evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. If the granola doesn’t seem as toasty and crunchy as you’d like, it will firm up considerably as it cools. Stir in the apricots and crystallized ginger once the granola has cooled. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks or refrigerate for up to 6 weeks (if refrigerating, keep the apricots in a separate sealed bag and add them as you enjoy your granola so they don’t become hard and dry.