This is the granola recipe that brought me back for more. While coated in a decadent honey mix, this recipe is most notable for its mix of spices. The recipe is from Rebecca Hassell, sous chef at Estadio in Washington, D.C.
Eve Turow for NPR
Eve Turow for NPR
Makes approximately 10 cups
8 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)*
2 cups nuts, chopped**
1 cup golden brown sugar (or dark, if you prefer)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup butter
Dried fruit (optional): banana, apple or mango.
*Rolled oats are steamed then rolled, providing the flat texture best for granola. Instant oats are partially cooked, and quick-cooking are finely cut, much like steel-cut oats, which are thinly sliced by steel yet retain some bran. Rolled oats will provide the right texture and will cook properly in granola recipes.
**Use any nuts you want in any combination — pecans, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, etc. Get the untoasted ones. Chop by hand, with a nut chopper or with a few pulses in a food processer.
Position racks in middle of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Lightly spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
Mix oats, nuts, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and cardamom in large bowl.
Combine granulated sugar, honey and butter in small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture and stir well. Toss mixture until thoroughly mixed. (Option: Caramelize white sugar with a little water, then add honey and butter. To do this, add white sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan. Add a little water and stir until the mixture reaches a boil. Keep the mixture moving until it begins to turn brown. Then, add honey and butter. This process will add a caramel flavor to the granola.)
Spread granola on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through.
Cool granola completely. If you like large "sheets" of granola, remove with a large spatula. If you like clusters, let the granola cool until it won't burn your hands, then shape into handfuls.
Add dried fruit (if desired) after the granola is cooled.