The Perfect Granola

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So this is an oldie and a goodie.  I have made this granola for Christmas presents over the years and it has been so well received that people often ask for the recipe.  It is the one granola I make because it is so delicious and unexpected.  Unexpected, you say?  Well, yes!  The key ingredient is olive oil.  It is just the right amount of savory and lightly sweet.  I usually add a little more salt and a little less cardamom.  The fruit / nut combinations can be changed to what you have around or prefer.  The amounts can be played with all day long and it still works.

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Some great friends from our time in the Bay Area are coming to visit Seattle for the weekend, so it seemed like the ideal time to make some of this yummy granola.  The best part?  When the kids woke up super early this morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee, looked in my pantry, and was able to make it with ingredients I had on hand.  Once you try this, you, too, will keep all the necessary items in your pantry, just in case.

We have been looking forward to this reunion weekend for weeks.  Plotting out the best plans to show off our dear city in both rain and shine weather.  As much as I am looking forward to all our fun adventures, the thing I am anticipating most is the down time,  everyone waking up in the morning, chatting over cups of coffee (and bowls of granola), picking up these special relationships just where we left off… Enjoy!  I know we will.

Olive Oil Granola with Dried Apricots and Pistachios

(from The New York Times, 2009)

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, hulled

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled

1 cup coconut chips

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Fresh ricotta, for serving (optional)

Fresh berries, for serving (optional).

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1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. 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.

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2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add apricots (or do this step right on the cookie sheet), tossing to combine. Serve with ricotta and fruit, if desired.

Yield: About 9 cups

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