Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Delicious Doings

Our garden is doing really well. After a lot of trial and error we found out that our garden loves to grow squashes. We have 2 foot long zucchinis--trying to teach the gardener to pick earlier, buckets and buckets of eggplant, gem squash, and butternuts. They grow so well. 

Since the zucchini was picked a bit late it doesn't taste as good. When I got back from the States I found out that the kids were being served zucchini or eggplant every day. The cook was  simply cutting it into cubes and boiling it. Not the most appetizing way to serve it. I suggested that she grate the zucchini and mix it in with their meat sauce. Thursday the kids sat down at the table and exclaimed, "Look! No zucchini!" and then proceeded to eat everything on their plates and ask for seconds. Little did they know the zucchini was hiding in their meat dish. Aren't we devious?

On Saturday afternoon I got bit by the bug. I suddenly had to cook! Not that I don't cook often (we  all take turns) but I wanted to do more than standard dinner fare.

I decided to roast 10 eggplants for babaganoush.* Then while they were in the oven I grated 6 cups of zucchini for bread and muffins. As I was making that batter, Jasmine came in and asked if we could make roasted vegetable muffins. For sure! We began roasting the vegetables for those and then discovered we needed pesto. Darn. No pesto! Wait! We have basil in the garden. Hooray. 
Jasmine dashed off to the computer to find a recipe, and then went the extra mile to find one that used peanuts rather than pine nuts.

While gathering basil leaves from our two little plants, I looked over and saw our lovely bushes of cilantro. A lightbulb went off and I decided to make cilantro pesto as well. 

basil pesto--left, cilantro pesto--right
I'm seriously in love with pesto now. So easy to make, and delicious in everything! I've put it on crackers, spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich, stirred it into lentils one night and chicken soup the next.

Pesto done, we worked on the vegetable muffins. We had to do a lot of tweaking. No mozzarella cheese--so we used cheddar. Decided to use cilantro pesto rather than basil. No feta cheese--more cheddar. 

For vegetables we used carrots, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and zucchini. Tremendous!

These were seriously some of the best muffins I've ever eaten. They had a pizza-y taste to them. There was a hint of sweet cornbread to them as well.

Roasted Vegetable Muffins
 from Celebrating Cupcakes and Muffins**
Makes 12 muffins

Roasted vegetables:
1 cup assorted vegetables
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Dried rosemary, thyme, or oregano, to taste

Toss vegetables with oil and seasonings and then roast (on a lined cookie sheet) for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven until cooked and/or golden.

3 oz. butter
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 cup mozzarella (or whichever) cheese
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or grated cheddar if you live in Africa)
1/4 cup pesto sauce

  • In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together butter, egg, and milk. Gently fold in cheese until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Fold flour mixture into egg mixture just until blended.
  • Spoon two-thirds of the batter into greased muffin cups (or use silicone ones like I did) filling each cup about one-third full.
  • Top with half the roasted vegetables and all the (feta) cheese and pesto.
  • Add remaining batter and vegetables. 
  • Bake for about 20 minutes at 350, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
  • Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for about 15 minutes. 
  • Serve warm. I dare you to wait any longer! 

* I didn't really follow a specific recipe for the babaganoush so I've just linked the search page. Plus, we didn't really care for it much. Win some, lose some.
** I'm not an Amazon affiliate.


  1. Yum! Those muffins look delicious. And cilantro pesto is my fave! :)

    I have to say that I get a little jealous whenever I see a garden. Gardening seems to be one of the few things I cannot do. But oh how I wish I could live off the land and have a lovely garden like yours.

  2. Oh my goodness, you've made me HUNGRY. All that fresh food looks SCRUMPTIOUS!

  3. Oh, those look fabulous! I can't wait to try those!!! i'm in love with eggplants lately and am wishing it were spring here to plant my own. What a lovely garden.

  4. Seriously, you CANNOT go wrong with pesto!

  5. Wow that all looks so delicious. I never thought of making cilantro pesto. I LOVE cilantro. Or veggie muffins. Delicious. You've got one amazing life over there! I'm just so impressed and awwed.

    Thank you so much for stopping by my site on my SITS day. I'm so glad I got a chance to "meet" you.

  6. Oh Amy! Thanks for this recipe! I made a batch for lunch today and promptly ate four muffins. They were fabulous. I'd never made pesto until today either and it turned out wonderful despite the dried herbs and VERY salty sunflower seeds I used. I'm definitely making these again!

  7. Jessica MorrowMarch 11, 2011

    Wow! All of that looks so good! The cupcake holders are funny-looking; are they washable ones?


Come hang out with me. Your comments brighten my day and make me feel less lonely in my corner of the globe. .Wanna know more about my crazy life? Give a shout!

You can also email me at amymorrowinafricaATgmailDOTcom

Related Posts with Thumbnails