Savory Granola

This stuff is my latest kitchen obsession, inspired by a recipe in Saveur magazine for Provencal Granola from Chef Daniel Humm of New York restaurant, Eleven Madison Park.

Sounds odd, but think of it as croutons or as the crunchy fried noodles used in Indian chat snacks. Here’s my annotated version of Humm’s recipe.

1/2 cup canola oil (Humm fries the herbs in the oil, way too messy for my kitchen, so my big adaptation is to microwave the herbs for about a minute and a half until they wilt and start to dry, then chop them coarsely. They crisp up in the oven and the kitchen stays clean and cool. I use some of the oil to bind the granola)

1 cup basil leaves (I use more than a cup and mix in whatever leafy herb is fresh and available–parsley, cilantro, dill, even some arugala that was too bitter to eat fresh)

2 cups of puffed rice (Trader Joe’s puffed rice cereal works fine)

1 cup pine nuts (I’ve used chopped pecans and chopped, salted almonds)

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (One time I forgot this and didn’t even realize it)

2 tbs. basil seeds (Not a pantry staple, and I’m not sure if these are a culinary or gardener’s seed, so I used ground flax seed)

2 tsp. Piment d’Espelette (Saveur recommends Zingerman’s at $16 for a 25-gram jar. These ground  Basque peppers have a smoky flavor so I substituted paprika and Spanish paprika)

salt to taste (I.e., lots)

1 tbs minced garlic (One good sized clove)

1/4 cup corn syrup or honey (Yes, weird, but not really. I’ve used corn syrup and it helps everything stick together and gets that whole salty-sweet thing going that makes it hard to stop snacking on this stuff)

I read the recipe again for this post, and along with not frying the leaves, I also haven’t bother simmering the corn syrup to loosen it up. I just pour it in, but I will simmer next time, along with some of the oil, for better coverage.

I do bake it at 250, but not for the recommended 40 minutes, more like 20 minutes, with a toss and stir about halfway through.

I don’t have to tell you how to use it–sprinkled on cut fresh tomatoes, on a potato salad dressed with Romesco sauce, anywhere you’re looking for crunch. Maybe even on a peanut butter sandwich.

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About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
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