Not only do I have a dinner club, I also have a book club AND a monthly girls’ brunch. For brunch we’ve been going out to restaurants (specifically those with bottomless mimosas) but this past weekend one of that gals hosted at her new home and it was a blast. There was great company, fabulous food and mimosas with fresh orange and grapefruit juices – grapefruit + champagne just may be my new favorite.
Anyhow, I knew there would be scrambles and casseroles galore, so I decided to mix it up and give granola another go. This was SO much better than my first attempt at granola – I couldn’t believe it! We served it with some yogurt and fresh fruit, and before people even knew it was home-made they were asking about it and saying it was some of the best they’d ever had. It’s just that good. And really, I would expect nothing less from a recipe adapted from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook.
Remember how I went to this really amazing meet-up? Well, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of the restaurant explained how each guest gets a bit of granola to take home after their meal, to continue his/her experience even after they have left the restaurant. What an experience to be left with – it’s crunchy, sweet, nutty and just a little bit salty. Each of the elements brings balance and complementing, yet non-competing flavor profiles. The liquids are really sweet, so pistachios, pumpkin seeds and pecans are a savory nut balance, and the dates I added are a nice contrast to the sour cherries and unsweetened coconut. All in all, this is an off the charts granola that you really have to try.
Granola, adapted from Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook
- 3 1/3 cup rolled oats, not quick cooking
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flaked coconut
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup raw pecans
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 maple syrup
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup dried sour cherries
- 1/3 cup small chopped dates
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet (or 2 normal sized ones) with parchment paper. Mix oats, coconut, nuts and pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Combine sugar, syrup and oil in a sauce pan, melt over med-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour liquids over dry ingredients and toss to coat dry ingredients evenly. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet(s) and bake for about 30-35 min until dry and golden. Toss once during baking for even cooking. Mix in cherries and dates when it comes out of the oven and spread evenly again on baking sheet. Press it down a bit and let cool completely without mixing again. By letting it cool without touching it, you’ll end up with some clumps of granola that you are able to break apart as large or small as you like.
This makes about 7 cups, so invite your friends over, or get some jars ready for gifting!