Zucchini, Parmesan & Basil Muffins
Savoury muffins are a great alternative to the sweet ones, especially when served as a snack or instead of bread alongside soup or salad. The zucchini in these makes them lovely and moist while adding substance. (p.86)
Preparation time: 15 minutes (+ 5 minutes standing time) Baking time: 25–30 minutes
Vegetable oil, to grease (optional)
150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) wholemeal plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
70 g (21/2 oz/2/3 cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
65 g (21/4 oz/2/3 cup) coarsely grated vintage cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) buttermilk
80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) light olive oil or sunflower oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 zucchini (courgettes), about 100 g each, coarsely grated
40 g (11/2 oz/1/4 cup) pine nuts, to scatter
Cayenne pepper, to sprinkle
1 Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) or 170°C (325°F) fan-forced. Line a 12-hole 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1/3 cup) capacity muffin tin with paper cases or grease with a little vegetable oil.
2 Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, returning any husks left in the sieve to the bowl. Season well with pepper and then gently stir in the parmesan, cheddar and basil. Make a well in the centre.
3 Use a fork to whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil and eggs in a bowl. Add the zucchini and mix to combine. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined. (Don’t overmix – the batter should still be a little lumpy.)
4 Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin holes, dividing evenly. Scatter over the pine nuts and sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
These muffins are best eaten the day they are baked, however they freeze well – wrap individually in plastic
wrap and then seal in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.