Little Bites: Yves Samake of the Ritz-Carlton’s Date Pistachio Granola

Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.

This week, the Ritz-Carlton’s executive chef Yves Samake shares his recipe for Date Pistachio Granola. This sweet, crunchy mix is great way to start the day or to get a midafternoon kickstart. You could even sprinkle a handful over a bowl of ice cream to trick yourself into thinking that you’re enjoying a healthy dessert.

Date Pistachio Granola


  • 2 3/8 cups instant oatmeal
  • 3/8 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/16 cup vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 5/8 cup date nuggets


  1. Combine first four dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine spices separately, then add melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix apple juice and maple syrup into the butter mixture.
  4. Combine all ingredients.
  5. Place on large baking sheet and bake at 350 Degrees F for 30–45 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  6. After removing from oven, add the date nuggets.
  7.  Store in airtight containers. Makes approximately 15 servings.