I have a confession to make.
I am a total carbaholic. Is that a word? Well, sure it is. It can be defined as this:
-A person addicted to carbs and all delicious things containing them, i.e. bread, pasta, muffins, etc.
Okay, okay...so maybe it's not THAT bad, but I sure do love homemade breads and other carb-y delights. These muffins are a great fix for those cravings. I crave carbs even more, now that Brad and I are training for the Rumpshaker 5K in March (which we are so excited about!). At least, it makes me feel better to blame it on all that running on the treadmill! :-)
These muffins are fabulously savory...a pleasant surprise from the usually sweet muffins that we are all used to. Instead of biting into bits of fruit or sugar, these muffins surprise you with cheesy pockets of Greek feta and flavorful bits of roasted red bell pepper. Throw some herbs into the mix, and you have yourself one delicious muffin.
The only change that I had to make was the substitution of dried thyme, instead of using fresh basil. I would have preferred using the basil, but fresh, g00d-looking basil can be hard to find this time of year. The dried thyme did add a nice little punch of flavor, though.
These muffins are also very versatile. I served them alongside a dinner of salmon, but they'd be equally perfect at breakfast with a few slices of bacon and some scrambled eggs.
Bon Appetit, my friends!
Feta, Basil, & Roasted Red Pepper Muffins
Source: The Art & Soul of Baking
Yield: 12 muffins
- 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) jarred roasted red bell pepper, patted dry and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil
- 1 large egg
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin tin with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the feta cheese, roasted bell pepper, and chopped basil. Set aside. Pour the buttermilk into the measuring cup. Add the olive oil and the egg and whisk together until well blended.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and stir gently with a spatula. Mix only until there are no more streaks of flour or pools of liquid and the batter looks fairly smooth. A few small lumps scattered throughout are fine - they will disappear during baking. Gently fold in the feta cheese mixture until evenly distributed in the batter.
4. Use the large ice cream scoop or 2 soup spoons to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
5. Gently run a thin knife or spatula around each muffin to free it from the pan, lift out the muffins, and transfer them to a rack to finish cooling (careful, these are tender while hot). Serve warm or store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for 1 month. Reheat room temperature muffins in oven at 375 for about 8 minutes or in microwave.