Bowls of full of memories - pear-ginger granola 
Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:53PM
Nazila Merati in breakfast, family, gluten free, granola, identity, kitchen, memory, oatmeal, pear-ginger granola, recipes, snack, vegan

bowls of memories

My short term memory seems to be going, or I should say, there is so much going on it is easy to lose the little things in the all the stuff flying around the interwebs and our lives.  I can tell you my long term memory is great, just ask TH. I am famous for bringing up things in an argument that happened 15 years earlier. Its a gift I picked up from my father, just ask my mother.

I can also remember the provenance of each bowl in our kitchen.  Bowls are my weakness - cafe au lait bowls, hand thrown bowls, and old stoneware bowls, some found locally, some brought back from various trips around the world. In my opinion, most every meal, save a good steak can be eaten in a bowl. Desert island dwellers take heed, a spork and a bowl will save your life, although a coconut will do in a pinch.

Okay, enough with the bowl lust, let's talk about filling that bowl.

pear ginger granola

A few weeks ago, I had the great honor of meeting Melissa Clark at a book reading.  I have read many of her columns, but hadn't really familiarized myself with cookbooks. Her new cookbook, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories about the Food You Love , has both great recipes, but even better stories behind each recipe.  One recipe that I have been making over and over again is her olive oil granola recipe. Like all good cooks and scientists, I first made the recipe by the book, and then started to modify it to my tastes.

Dang, this stuff is good and so far, everyone else who has sampled it has agreed.

The olive oil is an interesting twist on the neutral flavored oils used in most granola. I was my usual skeptical self.  I was worried about the taste overpowering the rest of the ingredients, but when paired with maple syrup, it works. I used a few different types of oils and settled on the Trader Joes Extra Virgin Olive Oil which has a nice flavor and a little lighter in color. The recipe also calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, do not skip this, you need it as a foil for the sugar and maple syrup. I used Secret Stash Salts' flavored salts, but if you can't get ahold of this wonder ingredient, please use a flaky sea salt. Unlike most granolas, this recipe does not make a chalky granola nor an oily one, it is perfect granola for munching out of hand or as a topping for greek yoghurt or for crisp. Melissa suggests serving it with fresh ricotta and fresh berries. I also tried a combination of fruits and nuts, using basically what I had lying around in the pantry. It is a great granola to use up odds and bobs in your pantry.

Pear-Ginger Granola (adapted from Melissa Clark's Olive Oil Granola Recipe from the book -  In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories about the food you love (Hyperion, 2010)

makes ca. 7.5 cups of granola, which depending on your family could last nearly one day or a week, give or take

Approximate time to make recipe from start to finish ca. 55 minutes, active time 15 minutes

3 cups thick cut oatmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free oats), but regular cut (not quick cook) oatmeal should be fine

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1 cup pumpkin seeds, hulled

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, raw

1/2 t ground cardamon

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground ginger

1 t flaked sea salt, I used Secret Stash Salt almond cardamon salt or vanilla salt, depending on what I had lying around

3/4 cup maple syrup, I used grade B, dark maple syrup

1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin, but not too dark

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup uncrystallized candied ginger, cut into a small dice

3/4 cup dried pears, cut into a small dice

Preheat oven to 250 Degrees F.

Take a large piece of parchment paper and cut it to fit an 11 x17 inch jelly roll pan  with about an inch of overhang on the sides.

In a large bowl, measure out oatmeal, coconut, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and brown sugar and mix well. In another bowl, mix together cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and salt until combined. Add spice mixture to large bowl of ingredients and mix to combine.  Mix together the maple syrup, oil and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add this to the oatmeal/spice bowl and using a large spoon or your hands and make sure the oatmeal,coconuts and seeds and nuts are coated with the syrup/oil mixture.

Place granola mixture onto jelly roll pan and place in oven to bake, stirring every ten minutes until the granola has taken on a lightly browned color and some of the syrup has cooked off, this should be approximately 35 minutes at 250 degree oven.

Remove from oven, and let cool in tray.

When cool, mix in chopped fruit.

Store in an air tight container.




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