Olive Oil Granola with Dried Cherries & Ginger

Everyone has a favorite granola recipe.  Some are hodge-podge versions of ingredients thrown together; others are riffs on restaurant or cafe offerings.  I have made some batches based on whatever I have in the pantry and freezer. Taking advantage of the bulk bins at Whole Foods can make granola-making a bit easier on the grocery budget. 
 
What I like about this recipe is the use of the extra virgin olive oil combined with (my addition) maple syrup.  (Note: no pancake syrup here, please.  Use the real deal.  Your taste buds will thank you.)   If flax seed and wheat bran aren't your thing, feel free to omit.  They were just hanging out in my fridge.  I like to spoon the granola over plain Kefir or Greek-style yogurt with a drizzle of honey. 
 
Olive Oil Granola with Dried Cherries & Ginger

adapted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/dining/151arex.html?_r=2&ref=dining

yield: 4 1/2 - 5 cups

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup walnut

pieces

1/2 cup raw pistachios, hulled

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled

1/4  cup pure maple syrup

1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tbls flax seeds

1 tbls wheat bran

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries

1 tbls chopped crystallized ginger

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, pumpkin seeds,  walnuts, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, flax seeds, and wheat bran. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.

2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add cherries, cranberries, and ginger, tossing to combine.

3. Store in the freezer for optimal freshness.