We welcome back our own Astoria Chef, Clare, with a wonderful recipe for homemade granola and orange blossom yogurt. Yum! -Meg
The sheer thought of turning on the oven this summer made me shudder. Veggies roasted at 425 to golden perfection? Nope. My usual morning oatmeal, steel-cut and cooked slowly over the stove? Not a chance.
My only exception has been granola. Prepared in the cooler morning or evening hours, it only needs a little toast in the oven at a low temp. You can customize it depending on whatʼs lurking in your pantry. My Astoria-sourced sesame version uses the little seed in two ways, whole and ground (last seen here). Cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and candied ginger give a slight nod to Fall. The result? Crispy, not-too-sweet and decidedly addictive.
To make a meal of it, I turned to my favorite Olympus yogurt (straight from Greece!) To play off the sweet/bitter theme, I added a splash of orange blossom water, a Middle Eastern staple and maple syrup, a Northeastern staple. Itʼs a delightful breakfast or dessert with late-summer plums or peaches.
Makes about 1 quart
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 pieces crystalized ginger, chopped
Heat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sesame seeds, salt and spices. Add a few tablespoons hot water to the oat mixture and combine. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the maple syrup, tahini and vanilla (you can also do this in the microwave). Add the maple syrup mixture to the moistened oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 40 minutes. Add the crystalized ginger. Cool completely (it will crisp up a bit) and store in sealed container.
Orange Blossom Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt (I like Olympus)
1 drop orange-blossom water (itʼs super-concentrated!)
Pure maple syrup or honey, to taste
Combine the yogurt and orange blossom water. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey. Enjoy with granola and fruit.
Where to buy in Astoria:
Sesame seeds – Mediterranean Foods
Cardamom – Trade Fair
Tahini – Titan Foods
Olympus Greek Yogurt – Mediterranean Foods (also available at Titan Foods)
Orange blossom water – Mediterranean Foods