#1 – 48 Recipe Challenge: Recipe 14 – Tomato and Basil Muffins
Given all the rain in the last few weeks, I wanted this month’s recipe to give me a taste of summer sunshine. And what could be better than tomato and basil? Real flavours of the Mediterranean, which instantly call to mind long sunny days and relaxed balmy evenings. A simple muffin recipe, from my ‘back collection’ of never before tried magazine pullouts. I’ve made sweet muffins before but never savoury so that’s a new thing too. I’ve been looking a savoury muffin recipes for a while but I was never quite sure when to serve them; until a friend suggested they could be a breakfast food. And actually, this particular recipe could also be served with a good cheeseboard or as a treat for a picnic.
Muffins are so easy and quick to make – basically just bung all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. It all looks a bit lumpy and (as Delia says muffin mixture) “uncomprising”, but once it’s in the cases and baked it seems to smooth out and somehow all turns out OK. This particular batter was denser and dryer than previous mixes I’ve used for sweet muffins.
The recipe asked for sundried tomatoes, but I substituted these for delicious oak roasted tomatoes from the Isle of Wight which I am lucky enough to be able to pick up at my local Farmer’s Market (see http://www.thetomatostall.co.uk/shop/slow-roasted-tomatoes/oak-roasted-isle-of-wight-tomatoes/ ). The ones I used had been marinated in a basil flavoured oil, so that added depth to the tastes as well. The concentrated and sweet flavour of dried tomatoes worked better for this recipe than fresh tomatoes would have, in my opinion, and also added to texture. I’d also be worried about how much liquid fresh tomatoes would add to this recipe.
Once out of the oven, I couldn’t resist trying these one straight away, whilst still warm and it really was a delight. With butter added it was particularly sinful! They were also nice cold, and I imagine will freeze well too so I’m looking forward to enjoying some of the rest of the batch at a later date. The recipe could be adapted slightly to add olives as well for a full on Mediterranean flavour fest.
I’ll score these as follows:
Ease of Preparation – 9/10 (baking doesn’t get much easier than this!)
Flavour/Taste – 6/10 (tomato and basil came through but the cheese could have done with more of a hit. Parmesan next time I think…)
Healthiness – 5/10 (Not necessarily bad for you as such but anything carbohydrate based is quite a lot of calories really)
Overall, I’m now a big fan of savoury muffins and will be looking out for more recipes to try in future. I’m thinking bacon will work very well…
My recipe looks as if it was torn out of a Tesco magazine at some point in time and I can’t find an equivalent online, so if you fancy giving it a go, here it is:
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
50g Gruyere cheese, grated
50g sundried tomatoes, chopped
20 large basil leaves, shredded
150ml semi-skimmed milk
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium eggs, beaten
1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5. Lightly grease a muffin tin.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves.
3. Beat together the milk, oil and eggs and then beat into the dry mixture, until well blended. Spoon into the muffin moulds.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Rest in the tin for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Makes about 9-10