April 11, 2010

thoughts on breakfast and a recipe for granola

One of the best things about my mom is that she always, but always, made us a hot breakfast on school days. Some days we had American breakfasts, perhaps grits or oatmeal or scrambled eggs or French toast, with a side of bacon or sausage and some fruit to round it off. Other days we had breakfasts like she might eat in Vietnam: fragrant pho (beef noodle soup) or chao (rice congee) or shrimp omelets with steamed rice on the side.

I think this is why I've never really liked cereal. My expectation of breakfast is something hot and filling and savory, and a bowl of Cheerios is none of those things. Given cereal or dinner leftovers, I'll go with dinner leftovers 9 times out of 10. On the other hand, Mark is the kind of guy who loves pho for breakfast but, in its absence, will happily eat a bowl of cereal.

So I made him some granola. This granola recipe comes from the New York Times via Melissa Clarkand, guys, I have to admit it's pretty great. Actually, it's addictive. I could see this as a good breakfast, if that's your thing, or afternoon snack with milk or plain Greek yogurt. It comes together in a snap: you mix rolled oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, nuts, brown sugar, maple syrup, kosher salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and extra virgin olive oil together. (I made some substitutions, which I will discuss below.) You bake, stir, cool, and fold in some chopped apricots. The result is crunchy, sweet, and salty, with a touch of bitter richness from the olive oil.


New York Times: Olive Oil Granola

Notes: I subbed a combination of pecans and almonds for the pistachios, because that's what I had. I couldn't find coconut chips so I subbed unsweetened coconut flakes. Finally, I misread the recipe and baked the apricots in the oven instead of stirring them in at the end, but it still turned out ok (at least, it didn't burn). Don't do this if you don't like chewy apricots, though. Main criticism: I found this a little too sweet and will cut back on the brown sugar next time.


Lauren said...

That sounds wonderful.

Kim said...

If you were here, I'd definitely give you guys a jar. :)

Lauren said...

Hey, it won't be long. And evidently, you make way too much food. Maybe we should find a place near you. . . .