Happy Friday! I guess it doesn’t mean too much for me, given my current lack of schedule, but I still find it a little bit exciting, and definitely hard to focus, like any Friday at work. I just made a playlist on Spotify called “Dancing in the Kitchen“. Definitely Friday. My week got off to a running start with a very exciting (and promising) job interview – keep your fingers crossed for me! Monday was also Emily’s birthday, and we celebrated with a feast, of course. Directly after my interview, I spent the entire remainder of the day cooking (my definition of a good day). Unfortunately, we didn’t get any photos, but it was a spectacular meal, starting with a cheese plate and creamed mushrooms on chive butter toast. Then I used the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook to make balsamic-beer braised short ribs over parsnip puree, with a side of wilted swiss chard (our favorite green). I’ve never made ribs before, but I’ll be using that recipe again – incredible. And despite the fact that we were all completely stuffed with food and wine, we finished with a flourless chocolate cake topped with freshly whipped vanilla cream and raspberries. And how was your Monday?
I have since tried to maintain momentum and have a fabulously productive week, but it seems I used up most of my oomph in that one day. However! The coming long weekend is extra special here in DC, with Obama’s second Inauguration on MLK Monday. We’re fairly overwhelmed by the plethora of options for happy hours, concerts, brunch specials, and other celebratory events going on today through Monday. Are you in DC? What are you getting into this weekend?
However busy (or not) your week might have been, I think we can all benefit from an easy, lazy recipe for something you typically pay (entirely too much) for at the store. I’ve been over this before, but homemade granola is a win-win-win situation. You pick the flavors. You control the sugar and sodium content. And 30 minutes later, you have several servings worth of breakfast/snack that will stay fresh in an airtight container for a solid month.
The flavor possibilities are endless with granola. But some flavors were simply meant for one another. Tomatoes + Basil. Potatoes + Rosemary. Avocado + Lime. Mushrooms + Shallots. Apples + Cinnamon. I think I landed on an unexpected flavor jackpot in the combination of pistachios, toasted coconut, and crystallized ginger. They make beautiful harmony together. I’m betting some sort of citrus element, like candied orange peel, would take it to a whole ‘nother level.
Pistachio, Ginger and Coconut Granola
6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw, unsalted pistachios*
2 cups large flake coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup crystallized/candied ginger, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 or 2 egg whites (optional – it’s the secret to clusters)
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a shallow, rimmed baking sheet, spread the coconut. Toast gently, stirring often, for about 5-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning and remove when it’s browned to your liking.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together honey, olive oil, and egg whites if using.
- Add pistachios and wet ingredients to oat combination. Stir until all dry ingredients are thoroughly coated. If you still have dry spots feel free to add a few more drops of olive oil and honey until it all evens out.
- DO NOT add the ginger or coconut – keep these aside, as the ginger will melt and the coconut will burn in the oven.
- Spread granola on a rimmed baking pan and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. You’ll need to remove it from the oven and stir/flip it once or twice. It will cook faster on the edges, so move it around to ensure even cooking.
- When browned to your liking, remove from oven and let cool completely. Granola will get crunchier as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems too soft. Once cooled, stir in ginger and coconut and store in an airtight container for up to one month.
*I could not find raw pistachios (get it together, Whole Foods!) so I kept mine to the side with the ginger and coconut and stirred them in after to prevent burning.