The Ubiquitous Olive Oil Granola, Twisted!

I’m not going to say that if you haven’t either heard of, read about, tasted, or made Melissa Clark’s Olive Oil Granola that you’re living under a rock.  I’ll let Geico do it for me. (Just replace the lizard in the sign with a huge bowl of granola atop a folded and coffee-ringed slab of the New York Times).


First off, welcome to civilization, rock people!  There are a few things you should know:
1. Avoid Netflix and Facebook for a little while. They’re in some sort of awkward, out-of-touch-with-their-consumer-base stage.
2. Food costs are on the rise. Fears of  meat prices climbing to 30% more per pound mean back to roots and berries.  If you aren’t already, it’s high time to jump on the meatless Monday train (or meatless Weekday train if you’re us. A subject for another post).
3. REM broke up this week, which I guess would be especially newsworthy if it happened in the late ’90s.
4. Make this granola.

We made it, initially skeptical of all the rave reviews, and were happily shocked to learn that olive oil + cardamom + some oven time = butter.  This stuff tastes liked you toasted all the ingredients and then tossed them in just the right amount of the best salted butter you could find.

Three batches later, and we’ve got our favorite version down – quite similar to the original, but with a few twists. It’s usually hard to part with even a crumb, but my youngest sister M, a freshman in college, is going to benefit from our fourth batch. It’s in a totally magnificent care package en route to her in Ohio.

Olive Oil Granola
(Recipe from Melissa Clark’s version in the New York Times)

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds (and/or mix of pecans, hulled pistachios)
1 1/2 cups coconut chips (don’t skimp on these!)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (or split the difference between brown sugar and honey)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional but worth it)
1/4 cup millet (also optional but worth it)
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut chips, maple syrup, molasses, oils, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

2. The second time you take it out of the oven to stir, mix in chia seeds, millet, and apricots. Return to oven and cook 15 more minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

3. Try not to eat it all in one sitting. No accompaniments are needed, but here are some pairing suggestions anyway: yogurt or labneh, ice cream, milk, fruit, whipped cream, pbananas, peanut butter, preserves.

Makes approximately 9 cups.