Oh, granola. You are such a fickle creature, aren't you? Crunchy or chewy. Bars or ... cereal. With chocolate or without. Coconut? Maybe. There are as many varieties of granola as there are fish in the sea. Okay, maybe not that many. But you get my point.
In college I spent a year overseas and became addicted to an unpronounceable brand of granola that to this day makes my heart swoon. We bought it from the cheap German warehouse grocery store - and I mean, I bought it by the kilo (if you know your conversions, that's really not that much). Hunks of dark chocolate lurked throughout and stumbling upon them was a revelation. I ate it for breakfast, I ate it for dessert. I ate it for a snack, straight out of the box, anytime, all the time. This granola? This shit was GOOD. And I loved it.
However ... life moves on. You move home, you miss your friends and you miss your granola. You forget about that granola - you never forget about your friends - until one day, you find yourself flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit and lo! A new granola recipe.
Granola has failed me so many times - it's too sweet, it's not sweet enough, it doesn't crunch, there's too much honey. This one? It's crunchy, sweet, savory, a little gingery, and above all, delicious.
It may not be the perfect granola, but it may become my favorite. Now, that's not to say it will be your favorite - all those fish in the sea and all - but people. This granola? This granola is GOOD. Add hunks of dark chocolate if you want ... I know I will.
adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2010
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup assorted dried fruit (I used apricots, raisins and two kinds of figs)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet.
Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit. Yield: about five cups. Can be made 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container.