Last week I escaped the sticky, dirty heat of New York City for a few days and reintroduced myself to fresh air, stars and the ocean in Montauk.
Life slows down at the beach. The fussy details of living seem less important. I read more, sleep more and spend less time worrying. I also eat more. Especially when there’s a buffet breakfast on offer. A simple buffet of high-quality ingredients prepared and presented with thought is a lovely way to start a day. And that’s what I had in Montauk.
When I wandered in to the dining room on my first morning at the beach I found a large table spread with local produce. Hard-boiled eggs nestled next to a basket of freshly-made croissants. Home-made jam and marmalade were on offer as well as freshly pressed coffee and juice. All delightful. But the centerpiece of the spread was an elegant granola. Breakfast cereal is rarely described as elegant, but this mix of lightly toasted oats, shreds of white coconut and toasted black sesame seeds was eye-catching in it’s simplicity. And it was delicious.
Now I’m back in the city, staring out the window at bricks and steel instead of lapping waves. To retain some of my holiday glow, I’ve recreated the granola from Montauk. Each morning it reminds me to have a little moment of slower, beach-style living.
This granola is only lightly toasted and not too sweet – just how I like it. But if you favour a sweeter breakfast treat, you can add more honey and toast it for 5 minutes longer.
Honey’s sticky nature can make it difficult to measure cleanly. To make sure your honey ends up in your granola instead of your measuring cup, give the cup a squirt of cooking oil spray. This makes the cup (or spoon) slippery and means your honey will happily slide into your mixing bowl.
This granola would be a lovely addition to your breakfast buffet should you have overnight guests or friends coming over for brunch. Or just make it for yourself, like I did, and enjoy an elegant breakfast.
Black and White Granola
Makes about 3 cups
- 2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Mix oats, coconut oil, honey and half the stated quantities of shredded coconut and sesame seeds. Spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the oats and coconut are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and mix in the remaining shredded coconut and sesame seeds. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.