My first experience with savory granola was at The Woodsman Tavern in Portland, OR. They used it to top a delicious and unexpected beet and plum salad.
That dish inspired me when I was thinking about the menu for the recent pop-up restaurant I did. We served this savory granola atop a salad of dark leaf lettuce, dandelion greens, quick-pickled late season peaches, roasted delicata squash, watermelon radish, and aged gouda (pictured above).
I love crunchy toppings and nuts and seeds on salads, and savory granola easily combines all of those elements. I wouldn't necessarily eat a bowl of the stuff with milk, but if you like plain yogurt, this could be nice topping and a good alternative to something sweet. It would also would go nicely with some ricotta or maybe atop some warm brie. I also like it as a garnish for a roasted squash soup.
Like all granola, this is super easy to make and is endlessly changeable. You can swap out any of the nuts or seeds for ones that you prefer, and you can add different spices of flavorings depending on your palate. I love the fennel in this recipe, but if you're not into licorice notes, just omit it.
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raw pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon coriander
pinch of cayenne, or to taste
1 large egg white
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order listed.
Transfer to a parchment-lined baking shit. Spread the mixture out evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Stir the granola once after 15 minutes, and stir again after about 20-25 minutes of baking. Bake until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. The granola will crisp up as it cools.
Store in an airtight container. The granola will last for about 7-10 days.