The taking off point for this granola was some drop dead gorgeous dried fruit from one of the orchards at our farmer's market. They dehydrate their ripe peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and grapes right from their trees. I noticed a big box of it tucked away in a corner of the stand, and while all the buzz was around the fresh fruit, I scored some pretty amazing stuff.
The fruit is bright colored and plump. It bears no resemblance to the bags of dried fruit in stores. I'm kicking myself for not stocking up on it, I really hope they have more next weekend.
I balanced the huge pieces of fruit with whole nuts, and even some raw peanuts in their skins. I used a wildflower honey to sweeten it just a little, and simple vanilla for flavor.
This is a chunky, luxurious Sunday morning granola. It's good enough to give as a gift, send to kids at college, or serve to overnight guests. You need nothing more than ice cold milk to make a feast out of this granola.
Mix all the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the honey and vanilla to the oil. Drizzle in the oil while you are stirring the granola, until everything is well coated and combined. Spread the granola out evenly on a baking sheet (with sides) Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until toasted and golden browned. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn along the edges. Take the pan out of the oven and add the dried fruit to the hot granola. Cool on the pan, and when completely cool, store in an airtight jar.