Savory pesto and that delicious strip of baked parmesan cheese make an irresistible muffin. Soup’s up!
Toward the end of last summer, we began ordering vegetables from a local farmer here in Mongolia. The growing season is short, so we jumped at the chance for local produce. One week, I ordered a kilogram (over two pounds) of basil. Although I thought I had a general idea of what a kilo of basil would look like, my jaw dropped when my order arrived. It was a large grocery bag full of aromatic leaves and flowers. Every spare minute of the next three after-school afternoons were spent processing the basil – destemming, deflowering, and cleaning. After processing what seemed to be a mountain of basil, we made a purée of the leaves with olive oil and froze the end product in ice cube trays which we then packed into plastic zip-top freezer bags for winter use.
The work was worth it. The flavor of my first-ever batch of homemade pesto was phenomenally fresh and bright. It proved to be the perfect ingredient to infuse into a savory muffin to serve alongside a hot bowl of homemade bean soup.
Pesto Mozzarella Muffins
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Grease 12 standard muffin cups
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil and milk.
- Stir flour mixture into egg mixture.
- Fold pesto and mozzarella into batter until it is evenly incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.
- Bake muffins until are golden and they spring back to the touch, about 20 – 25 minutes. A wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.