Monday, January 24, 2011

Pistachio and Apricot Granola

I got a new cookbook for Christmas. (Really, folks, I think I may have a problem here. It may be time for an intervention. I LOVE COOKBOOKS). This really isn't a surprise, the cookbook as a present for me. The surprise was that our dog bought it for me. She was so fortunate that I could do her Christmas shopping for her.

I had been eyeing this cookbook for awhile--reading reviews of it, skimming it in my trips to the bookstore. It was so kind for our dog to help me out here. Let me tell you, I have not been disappointed in it at all. Some of the recipes are "fancier" than what I usually make---but I also have also found some homey, CSA friendly recipes as well. Plus, before each recipe, there is a short story to go with it---always autobiographical and connected in some way to the recipe and at least one page long. I love it. Two of my loves present at one place, reading and cooking. In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite, by Melissa Clark has not disappointed me. I've made four recipes from it so far, all of which I would make again without a moment's hesitation. It definitely has a spot reserved for it on my main cookbook shelf (and not relegated to the occasional-use cookbook shelf).

My second recipe to make from this book was granola. I love granola, but haven't been feeling the love from any of my granola recipes lately. This recipe was exactly what I needed. I am back on my weekly granola making kicks and am looking forward to playing around with substituting the nuts/fruits/spics (I think next up is a tart dried cherry and pecan granola....).

A warning--don't try to substitute roasted, salted pistachios for the raw, unsalted ones. It makes a huge difference and the flavor is much better with raw, unsalted pistachios. Hulling 1 c pistachios takes a bit of time--about 15 minutes--so if you can afford it, I would suggest paying extra for hulled pistachios. Otherwise, plan on spending some time hulling. The green of the pistachios and pumpkin seeds plus the orange of the apricots makes for a very visually pleasing granola

This recipe makes about 9 cups. I love it with some milk on it for breakfast, or all by itself as a snack. I've also read that's good with yogurt or fresh, milky ricotta and berries.

Dried Apricot and Pistachio Granola
adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark

3 c rolled oats (not quick)
1 c raw pistachios, hulled
1 c raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut (or coconut chips which aren't as fine)
1/2 - 3/4 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cardamom
3/4 - 1 c dried apricots, chopped (optional)

In a large bowl combine everything but the apricots. Spread mixture onto a large rimmed baking sheet (a half sheet pan aka cookie sheet with sides) in an even layer. Bake in preheated 300 degrees oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to allow for even browning. Granola is done when it is golden brown and well toasted. Stir chopped apricots into toasted granola. Eat however you desire.

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1 comment:

Davene Grace said...

Your dog is very talented--and smart! ;-)

Yum, that granola sounds delicious! The tart cherry and pecan variation sounds fantastic, too.

Your comment on my blog about your boys "helping" in the kitchen made me smile. Tobin is my child that I have to watch like a hawk to see exactly what he's doing in the kitchen (like this: :)