I first wrote about granola here in 2010, and for the last eight years this is the only one I have made. It remains delicious, simple and quick, all essential qualities for any recipe.
However, in recent months, thanks to a certain reluctance to eat quite so much butter I have been tempted by a new granola, which uses olive oil instead of butter and doesn’t even need a saucepan. It comes from the brilliant Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat, a book which I have only dipped into a little so far but, if this is anything to go by, I will be returning to it.
This granola’s star quality comes from the fact that it is less sweet than most, since it contains salt and olive oil, rather than cinnamon and butter. And, though that might sound weird for a breakfast cereal, I promise you it works. It is also cooked for a little longer which makes it exceptionally toasty and crunchy but, also, dangerously more-ish; it is worth replacing the lid quite quickly if you don’t want to overdo it and not actually gain anything from giving up the butter…
The original recipe contains lots of seeds (which are not my beloved tester’s favourite) and coconut chips (ditto) so now, after a few trials, I make it with just nuts and oats and it is perfect. The pecans are lovely, but you could also use hazelnuts or almonds. Walnuts don’t work quite as well. You can have this in the oven in about ten minutes, and cooked in about 40 (the recipe says it will take 45 minutes; I usually find that is too long and 30-40 is enough). If you want, stir in some chopped dried apricots at the end; I prefer it with fresh raspberries or mango and Greek yogurt.
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
porridge oats, 300g
flaky sea salt, 1 tsp
good olive oil, 125ml
light brown sugar, 75g
pecans, 300g (or hazelnuts/almonds)
maple syrup, 150ml (so, you know, not a health food…)
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan-assisted/gas 2.
2. Line a largish baking tray with baking parchment/greaseproof paper.
3. Roughly chop the nuts.
4. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure the oats and nuts are well covered.
5. Spread the mixture out evenly on the lined tray then bake for ten minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and turn the mixture gently (this helps it cook all over) with a spoon then return to the oven for another ten minutes. Remove and turn again and then, from now, keep a close eye on it and remove it as soon as it looks golden and toasty.
7. Once done, remove from the oven and leave to cool before transferring to an airtight box.