Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feta, Roasted Pepper and Basil Muffins

I apologize for all this downtime on the website. Jeff's Mom had some serious complications with her surgery and has a very, very long recovery ahead of her. We were planning on staying for two weeks, but we may have to extend that due to these circumstances - we can only take it hour by hour at this point. However, before we left, I was able to make quite a few recipes that we haven't had a chance to talk about yet and I'm going to post as I can... like tonight!

We've made plenty of savory biscuits before to serve along side for dinner and while I almost opted to make one of them again one evening, I decided to go a slightly different route and try out these Feta, Roasted Pepper and Basil Muffins!

That's right, muffins don't always have to be sweet and in fact, there isn't any added sugar at all in these! I did use my usual flour combo though, using half all-purpose and half whole-wheat pastry flour to nudge up the nutrition. You can use completely all-purpose, use white whole-wheat flour or even regular whole-wheat, but with the last option, the muffins will end up a little more dense.

Now, instead of mixing in some sort of chocolate, nuts or other sweet things you'd normally find in a muffin, these use crumbles of salty feta cheese, chopped roasted red bell pepper and fresh basil! If you use a jarred red pepper, be sure to pat it dry before tossing it in - you don't want excess moisture from them running into the batter. You could just fold those ingredients in separately at the last moment and not dirty another bowl, but I stirred them together beforehand as I wanted to make sure they would be evenly distributed.

One would typically use butter for sweet muffins, but this called for rich olive oil, along with buttermilk and an egg to moisten the dry ingredients. The easiest way to get the batter into the baking tin is using an ice cream or cookie scoop - this way you have much better control on how much gets into each muffin well. When they test done, checked easily by a toothpick or pressing on the top of a muffin to see if it springs back, leave them in the tin for just about five minutes before trying to tip them out. These muffins are very tender and need those precious minutes to firm up before being manhandled.

We both thought these were quite good as savory muffins, especially with those nuggets of feta inside, and was an admirable accompaniment to the soup we had. If you don't have the buttermilk called for, you can sour regular milk (or soy milk if you like) by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to the cup of milk. The basil was a welcomed addition, but fresh thyme (cutting the amount back to a tablespoon) would also be an excellent herb to use.


  1. These sound awesome! I could have used this post prior to my turkey soup I made today! Maybe for the leftovers. Mmmmmm, feta!

  2. I'm sending good thoughts out to Jeff's mom. I know how tough this can be. I'll keep all of you in my thoughts.


  3. I will be keeping Jeff's mum in my thoughts and prayers. She is very lucky to have such a wonderful son and family to be there for her.


  4. I like to change things up and make savory muffins every now and then :-)

    I am so sorry to hear about Jeff's mom and her complications. I am glad she pulled through and it is amazing that you and Jeff can be there for her--she is a lucky lady! Hang in there :-)


  5. So sorry to hear about Jeff's mom. I'll keep her in my prayers.

    The muffins look yummy.

  6. The muffins look awesome, I will definitely make these here as we are fans of savory muffins too.
    Sorry about Jeff's mom, wish her a complete recover (even if it takes a little bit), and all the strength for you two to help her out during this time. You are all on my thoughts!

  7. Mary - Enjoy.

    Kim - Thank you

    Jilleh - I appreciate it.

    Courtney - Thanks.

    Cheryl - Thank you

    Sophie - The feta was quite nice.

    Ana - Thank you for your thoughts.