the savory crunch

happy snow-magedon 2011! while detroit sadly missed much of the blizzardy excitement predicted, i must admit, this day “off” enjoying the snow, a warm fire, and the general amusement of an over-hyped, missed winter catastrophe has kept me quite satisfied. there is nothing quite like snuggling up to “personal finance for dummies” while listening to my neighbors chirp and bellow as they socially shovel the snow… and nothing like said activities to motivate me to share this epiphany of epiphanies with you: savory granola!

before honey-ing

what?! you say. how have i not thought of that?! well, friends, that is the precise response i had when reading saveur issue #135 for jan/feb 2011. mind you, i read the majority of this magazine while furiously ellipticalling… funny how food magazines motivate my exercise routines… regardless! i stumbled across this page and new instantly that this article on savory granola was meant for my eyes only. DUH! i exclaimed to myself! that’s GENIUS!

the beets, peeled and ready

of course, i did not follow the recipe exactly, but closely; mine transformed to take on a sort of mexican essence. i used parsley instead of basil, pepitas for pine nuts, flax seeds for basil seeds, paprika for piment d’espelette, and i added oats. i did pair it beautifully with deep magenta, gorgeous beets from the lovely folks at holtz farms. the beets, the granola, and the globs of zingerman’s soft cow cheese (i think that’s the cheese, i know it was zingerman’s, but my housemate bought it, so i am going on a gut feeling on this one!), my goodness, the dish was not only delicious but delightful to see!

oh, sweet gems of earthy delight!

served as the first course in the meal featuring the roasted poblano sauce that changed my world (i realize how dramatic my writing is regarding food. i suppose hyperbole + food = happy gwen!), the event  was quickly on its way to become a satiating experience for all.

plated and ready for cheese

savory granola
adapted from provençal granola by chef daniel humm of eleven madison park, nyc, issue #135 saveur magazine

1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup parsley leaves
2 cups puffed rice
1 cup pepitas
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
salt, to taste
1/4-1/2 cup oats, old-fashioned
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup michigan honey

1. heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. add parsley leaves in batches, fry until crisp, about 10 seconds. transfer to paper towel to drain and cool. add to a bowl with puffed rice, pepitas, parmesan, flax seeds, paprika, salt, garlic, and oats.

2. heat the oven to 250. heat honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until loose, then pour over the ingredients in the bowl, toss to coat. transfer onto a jelly roll sheet and spread out evenly.

3. bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted or golden brown, about 40 minutes. allow to cool completely in pan. store in tupperware for up to 2 weeks.

have fun adding this to salads, soups and the like! where do you think you’ll use savory granola in your cooking and baking adventures? enjoy!