My friend Sara is a great cook, and she's forever amazing me with her deftness at making something transcendent out of a few simple ingredients. A few weeks ago, she had me over for dinner and whipped up a delicious salad as I sat at her counter: she whisked together anchovy, lemon juice and olive oil for a simple dressing and then tossed it with dandelion greens, sliced radishes, salt and pepper. It was perfect with the roast chicken she served alongside it.
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Sara doesn't tend to favor elaborate, cloying desserts -- more than once she's ended the meal with a plate of her homemade "granola bars." They're chewy and rich, a jumble of nuts, cereal, seeds and dried fruit barely held together with almond butter and honey (no baking involved). She's not shy with the salt, which I think really sets these bars apart. Last week, she shared the recipe with me, and now I'm sharing it with you. These are great to have around, as a dessert or a snack.
A few notes from Sara: "I use unsweetened or apple juice sweetened cranberries; otherwise they are too sweet for me. Also the "glue" ratio (almond butter and honey) to nuts/oats/seeds/crispies is not an exact science -- just a general disclaimer. I will give a nod to the Minimalist, because I got the brilliant idea of introducing brown rice crispies from him, thus forever lightning up the dreaded granola bar. (They should probably be called something different than granola bars, too -- I think that's a generic term and doesn't really do them justice.)"
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).