These aren’t ordinary savory muffins. They’re loaded with feta cheese, roasted pepper, and basil. Scarf them down at breakfast with eggs, or at lunch with soup or salad, or at dinner with roasted chicken.
Who says muffins have to be sweet? These feta, roasted pepper, and basil muffins are a great savory accompaniment to eggs or bacon on the breakfast table, and just as good alongside soup, salad, or roasted chicken. Do not substitute dried basil, because it just doesn’t have the punch of flavor these muffins require. If fresh basil is unavailable, substitute a tablespoon of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme instead.–Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
Feta, Roasted Pepper, and Basil 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 basil leaves
- 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the muffin tin with melted butter, oil, or high-heat canola-oil spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the large mixing bowl. Set aside. In the medium bowl, stir together the feta, roasted pepper, and basil. Set aside.
- Pour the buttermilk into the measuring cup. Add the olive oil and the egg and whisk together until well blended. 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 the feta cheese into the muffin mixture until evenly distributed in the batter.
- 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 muffin 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. Gently run a thin knife or spatula around the muffins to free them from the pan, lift out the muffins, and transfer them to a rack to finish cooling (careful, these are tender while hot). Serve warm.
StoringWhen completely cool, the muffins can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic or sealed in a resealable plastic bag, for 2 days. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until warmed through. The muffins can also be frozen for up to 1 month, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then sealed in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Thaw, still wrapped, for 30 minutes before reheating.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I made these muffins so I could use up some buttermilk I had in the refrigerator. I’m glad I did, because they’re so good. They’ve a nice balance of flavors and look colorful on the plate. They don’t rise as much as other muffins, and I’ll probably make mini muffins next time because they’d be easier to eat with soup or stew. I served mine with Provençal Vegetable Soup from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
Originally published August 11, 2009