Cashew Curry Savory Granola from OATrageous Oatmeals

Oatrageous Oatmeals

Oats are one of my staple foods. I eat them throughout the spring and summer in the form of granola or simple muesli and the once the days get chilly, I make daily bowls of warm, creamy oatmeal (topped with generous dollops of jam or fruit butter).

I often grind rolled oats into flour in my Vitamix to use in baked goods, and I regularly use them to add bulk and fiber to turkey meatloaf (it’s a trick I learned from my mom). Oats! They can do so much!

When Kathy Hester told me that her next book (she’s also the author of The Vegan Slow Cooker, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, and The Great Vegan Bean Book) was going to be all about oatmeal, I got kind of excited. So excited, in fact, that she invited me to be part of the blog tour for OATrageous Oatmeals. And so here we are.

curry cashew savory granola

I’ve spent a couple weeks with this book now, earmarking recipes to try and mentally depleting my stash of oats. In the very near future, I’m planning to make the Southern-Style Oat Biscuits (page 28), the Baked Meyer Lemon Steel-Cut Oatmeal (page 43), the Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats (page 69), the Pepita Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars (page 96), and the Slow Cooker Black Bean Oat Groat Soup (page 104). Of course, there are more recipes that speak to me, but those are the ones that are currently topping my hopeful hit parade.

However, I’m not coming to you entirely empty-handed. I have tried the Cashew Curry Savory Granola on page 90 already and it is so good. Crunchy, salty, and slightly spicy, I made a batch yesterday and have been nibbling ever since.

savory cashew granola

I picked that recipe as the first one to try because I’ve long been a fan of savory granolas. They are an easy way to add a healthy layer of flavor, texture, and protein to homemade soups and salads. They keep well. And they are one of those things that give you a whole heck of a lot of bang for your buck.

I came up with a recipe for a savory granola a couple of years back when I was still writing for Grid Philly (the roasted tomato vinaigrette in that piece is also delicious) that I’ve returned to many times when I’ve needed a little crunchy, hearty snack, but I think it has now been supplanted.

jar of savory cashew granola

There is just one thing I’ll change next time I make this granola and that is that stir the raisins into the granola after it is finished baking. I find that they got just a little bit too cooked and ended up sort of acrid and a little too chewy for me. But it’s a minor quibble and one that’s easy enough to fix next time around.

Do you have a favorite savory granola?

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Pickled Italian Plums

vertical pickled plums

These pickled plums may be my favorite new preserve of this summer. They are a bit sweet, slightly spiced, and super tangy. Much like other pickled fruit, they are something of a two for one product, because once the fruit is gone, you can pour the flavorful syrup into sparkling water or use it to flavor batches of homemade vinaigrette.

italian plums

Like all pickled fruit, this recipe works best if you start with fruit that is just slightly underripe. You want to choose fruit that has plenty of flavor and a bit of give, but still has enough robustness to retain the integrity of the slices once they’ve simmered for a bit.

slivered plums

I kept the spices relatively restrained in this pickle, bundling up just star anise, whole cloves, black peppercorns, and a little crushed red chili flake for heat. Because spices are always the place where can personalize a preserve, if you make this one on your own, feel free to take that cheese cloth packet in any direction you’d like.

A short length of cinnamon stick would have fit in nicely and a few gently crushed cardamom pods would also play nicely.

plum spices

If the plums are already gone in your area, don’t think that your opportunities for pickled fruit are over. You could try this with tender slices of pears or hunks of soft fleshed apple (a golden delicious would be a nice choice).

finished jars of pickled plums

Looking for more pickled fruit? I’ve got so many other seasonal options for you! Naturally sweetened apple date chutney. Honey sweetened peach chutney (make it while the peaches last!). Pickled asian pears (this recipe is from Karen Solomon’s gorgeous book Asian Pickles). Persimmon and pear chutney (persimmons will be here soon). Pear chutney with dried cherries and ginger. Pickled cranberries (the. best.).

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Peach Mostarda

vertical peach mostarda

In my area, peach season is down to its final days for this year. I spotted a few left at the farmers market this morning and actually passed them by, but only because I am insane and picked up another half bushel over the weekend. I need to make a batch of salsa, and have several recipes for the new book to test, thus the purchase.

bowl of peaches

A couple weeks ago, just before I headed up to Toronto, I spent a full day canning. I had a ton of peaches and tomatoes, and knew that they wouldn’t last my weekend away. I made sauce, I canned whole peeled tomatoes, I made grape jam, and came up with this preserve.

Peach mostarda. Delicious with cheese. Recipe coming soon to a blog near you.

Mostardas are much like chutneys, in that they are both sweet and savory. However, instead of getting their savory nature from onions, garlic, or shallots, the sweetness is broken up with a conservative application of mustard oil and other sharp spices.

le parfait peach mostarda

Now, you should consider this a cheater’s mostarda. Because of US regulations, it is impossible to get the super-strong mustard oil with which true mostardas are made. However, the combination of mustard seeds and cayenne give this preserve a satisfying level of sinus clearing mustardiness.

I made this mostarda with Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog in mind, but it will also pair deliciously with crumbly aged cheddars and creamy, spreadable goat cheeses.

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Giveaway: Assorted Goat Cheeses from Cypress Grove

Cypress Grove cheeses

When I was writing my last book, one of the comments my editor made on the draft was that she was afraid I was recommending pairing too many of the recipes with cheese. We worked to come up with some alternate suggestions for those headnotes, but many of the cheese pairing suggestions remained. The reason? Cheese and jam (or pickles, chutneys, jellies, etc) are downright delicious together.

truffle tremor

When run out of time to make a big salad or a pile of roasted vegetables for a potluck, I head for the pantry instead. I find a jar of of something homemade (tomato jam is always a good choice), buy a slab of creamy, crumbly goat cheese, and pick up a baguette. I set that out on the potluck table and watch as people eat up every crumb and drop.

bermuda triangle

A few years back, I did a very informal collaboration with the folks at Cypress Grove (they make the most glorious goat’s milk cheeses). Essentially, they sent me some cheeses and I dreamed up a tasty little jam to serve along with those cheeses. My recipe for Plum Star Anise Jam was one of the preserves that resulted.

bermuda triangle unwrapped

Sometime in the last year or so, I reconnected with one of the very nice people over at Cypress Grove and we decided it might be fun to do another round of recipes designed expressly for a few of their products. So they sent me some cheese and I got to work. So far, I’ve come up with two preserves that pair up brilliantly.

humboldt fog

The first recipe is a preserve that I’m calling a peach mostarda. It’s not a true mostarda, in the sense that it does not contain super concentrated mustard oil (which is quite difficulty to get in the US, because it an ingredient in mustard gas). I use generous amounts of mustard seeds, coupled with some sinus clearing cayenne to mimic the pungency of the mustard oil, and I think it works well. Whatever you call it, I like it eaten with a little wedge of Humboldt Fog.

purple haze

The second preserve are pickled plums that end up being a cross between a jam and chutney (recipe coming soon). I took slightly firm Italian prune plums and cut them into slivers. They sat with restrained dose of sugar, some apple cider vinegar, and a cheesecloth bundle of spices until they released their juices. Then I cooked it down until the syrup thickened but before the fruit lost its integrity. It’s delicious when you perch a bit of the pickled plums on top of a slice of Truffle Tremor.

sliced truffle tremor

The lovely folks at Cypress Grove a cheese prize pack to one lucky Food in Jars reader. It will contain a Humboldt Fog Mini, a wedge of Truffle Tremor, and a hunk of Midnight Moon in a snazzy Cypress Grove cooler pack. You’ll also get some other Cypress Grove-branded goodies, including a cheese wire for easy Midnight Moon slicing. Additionally, I’ll throw in small jars of these two preserves, so that the winner can try my pairings.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and share your favorite cheese and preserve pairing. Cheddar with caramelized onion jam? Apricot jam with chevre? Grilled cheese with tomato chutney? Let me know!
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog by the end of the day on Sunday, September 28, 2014.
  3. Giveaway is open to US residents.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.

Disclosure: Cypress Grove sent me a package of cheeses for pairing and photography purposes. They are also providing the prize for the giveaway. No additional compensation was provided. 

Upcoming Events: New York! Philadelphia! Lancaster County!

Preserving by the Pint sliver

I’m taking a break from international travel for the next little while, but I still have a few fun classes and events coming up. Here’s where I’ll be over the next few weeks!

September 25, Hudson, NY
I’m teaching a class at Valley Variety in Hudson, New York. Everyone gets to make a jar of pickled cauliflower and I’ll demonstrate a small batch of pear vanilla jam. We’ll also have some tasty jam, pickle, and cheese pairings for class participants to sample. The class runs from 6:30-8:30 pm and you can sign up by clicking here.

September 30, Philadelphia
It’s the final meal in the series of preserving-focused dinner at High Street at 9 pm. You come, you have a lovely meal, I say a few words about canning and preserving, and you head off into the night. It costs just $25 and you can call (215) 625-0988 to reserve your seat.

October 2, Downingtown, PA
I’ll be demonstrating small batches of jam and book signing at the Growing Roots Partners Farmers Markets, 3-8 pm.

October 3, Old City, Philadelphia
I’ll be at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City for a pair of small batch jam demonstrations at their monthly First Friday event. Demos are at 5:30 and 6:45 pm and the evening is entirely free. I’ll have books available for sale and signature. This event will also be livestreamed and once I have the link, I’ll share it.

October 4, South Philadelphia
I’ll be at Fante’s in the Italian Market from 11 am – 2 pm to demonstrate my small batch technique and to sign copies of Preserving by the Pint. This is a free, drop-in event.

October 5, Havertown, PA
I’m teaming up with the nice folks at the Havertown Free Library to teach another hands on class. This time we’re making pickles! The class runs from 2-4 pm and costs just $5 to sign up (it’s a steal of a deal). Click here to sign up.

October 8, Swarthmore, PA
I’ll be teaching a canning class Harvey Oak Mercantile from 6-8 pm. There will be books available for sale and signature. Registration details to come.

October 9, Princeton, NJ
Thanks to a friend who has made all the arrangements, I’m headed to Princeton to offer a batch canning demonstration at the Whole Earth Center. Event is from 7-9 pm and tickets can be obtained here. Books will be available!

October 11, Lancaster, PA
I’m spending a Saturday at Fillmore Container, offering a pair of canning classes in their warehouse. The first class is from 10 am – 12 noon, in which we’ll focus on preserving pears in batches large and small (including information about how to use Pomona’s Pectin). From 1-3 pm, we’ll dig into how to preserve tomatoes, including how to make tomato jam and how to preserve whole peeled tomatoes. To register for both classes (they’re $35 a piece), click here. We’re also going to offer a book signing at the end of the day.

October 12, Cherry Hill, NJ
I’m hopping over the bridge to South Jersey for a small batch jam demonstration and book signing at Williams-Sonoma at the Cherry Hill Mall. The event is from 1-3 pm and is free and open to all.

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Links: Plums, Tomatoes, Apples, and a Winner

What a lovely wall of pickles! I'm so impressed by Thomas Lavers!

Oops. I didn’t mean to drop out of sight last week, but I got home from Canada on Monday afternoon and just couldn’t find my way back to the blog. It happens sometimes.

That trip to Toronto though, it was pretty darn terrific. I met so many of my long-time internet canning friends, including Christine from Manning Canning (check out her just-launched commercial kitchen Kickstarter!), Sarah B. Hood (author of We Sure Can!), and Joel and Dana from Well Preserved. The Kitchen Party at the Harbourfront Centre was incredibly fun and I loved meeting all the dedicated food preservers who came out for it.

I also enjoyed getting to explore a little bit of Toronto and seeing the roof garden and bee hives at the Fairmont Royal York (as a Kitchen Party sponsor, they put me up in a gloriously comfy room).

This week, things will start to return to normal around these parts. Let’s get that started off with links!

assembled tomato strainer

When I fell off the grid last week, I failed to post the winner of the Roma Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer Giveaway, sponsored by Blue Kitchen Canning. Oops. Now, without any further ado, the winner is #539/Rebekah Jones.

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