“I’m making your granola again,” my mom told me on her last call. I already had baked my own family’s weekly double-batch. My friend and yours, Nancy Leson, keeps a regular supply on hand, as does nearly everyone I know who’s tasted it. It isn’t “my” granola, though, it’s Megan Gordon’s. I got the recipe when interviewing her earlier this year for a feature on her Seattle-based Marge Granola company and cookbook.
Acquiring the ingredients for a home batch makes it easier to understand granola’s stiff retail price. Some keys for making it a regular indulgence rather than a rare one: First, buy from supermarket bulk bins, where grains, seeds, dried fruits and spices are a relative bargain. Trader Joe’s is my main source for affordable pistachios, while TJ’s and Costco are both good picks for big containers of decent maple syrup and olive oil. Also, Gordon uses mainly organic ingredients; I’m OK with mainly conventional versions. In some cases, as with pumpkin seeds, I prefer buying a Northwest-grown conventional version over the organic option imported from China. The ingredients are quite flexible; if one of the nuts or seeds is impossible to find or breaks the bank, it works pretty well substituting the same quantities of another.
Finally, if you share it, be prepared. Mom tells me she’s given away packages as gifts, and everyone wants more. “Give them the recipe!” I said. Here it is:
Apricot Pistachio Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 cup raw pepitas
½ cup raw sesame seeds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup finely chopped dried apricots (about 10)
¼ cup diced crystallized ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, pistachios, pepitas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Add the vanilla, olive oil and maple syrup and stir to combine.
3. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure the granola bakes evenly.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet. If the granola doesn’t seem as toasty and crunchy as you’d like, it will firm up considerably as it cools. Stir in the apricots and crystallized ginger once the granola has cooled.
Store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks or refrigerate for up to 6 weeks (if refrigerating, keep the apricots in a separate sealed bag and add them as you enjoy your granola so they don’t become hard and dry.)
— from Megan Gordon’s “Whole-Grain Mornings”