Just this morning

What a divine summer morning! The sky is robin-egg's blue, the sun is starting to toast my neck and there's the faintest, freshest stir of a breeze. I just ate my breakfast outside to the splash of the sprinkler, the cluck of the chickens (!), the caw of the crows and, of course, the howling of the hounds. How good was it? I finished about five minutes ago, and here I am, already telling you about it - that's how good. 

I wanted to make some granola the other night, specifically with some rye flakes I found languishing in the cupboard. I mused about went well with rye, then puttered here and there on the internet before I cobbled together a couple different techniques. The resulting granola was imminently tasty, though not particularly sweet nor with that coveted "clumping". But still, when I sliced some juicy nectarines into a bowl, sprinkled the granola on top and poured over a generous slosh of milk (and a swirl of sheep's milk yogurt - which is rather barnyardy yet still delicious in small amounts, or tempered with a bit of sweetness in desserts) it was pretty dreamy.

Rye Granola with Sunflower Seeds, Cranberries and Nectarines

I had better start writing down my experiments, especially when they turn out so dang good. That said, the qualities below are approximately as I remember them.

1/4 cup rye flakes
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp unsalted butter
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 tbsp dried cranberries

To serve:
2 juicy, ripe nectarines
about 2 cups whole milk, or to taste
2 tbsp sheep's milk yogurt, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Mix the rye and oats together on the baking sheet.

Place the maple syrup in a small, heavy-bottomed pan and bring to a bubble over medium heat. When it has reduced slightly, remove from the heat, swirl in the butter and add a pinch of salt. Pour over the rye and oats and mix until they are thoroughly coated. Bake for 10 minutes, then add the sunflower seeds and mix well. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Add the dried cranberries, mix well and let cool completely.

To serve, slice the nectarines into two bowls, letting any juices drip in as well. Cut each slice in half if you fancy and feel free to use less nectarine. I had a few bites of mine before I started slicing. Divide the granola evenly between the two bowls. Pour about a cup of milk, and a tablespoon of yogurt, if using, into each bowl. Stir to distribute well. There you have it. Eat outside and enjoy!

Makes enough for 2 breakfast servings. Scale up as you please.

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