Pesto Mozzarella Muffins

Pesto cheese muffins n

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Grease 12 standard muffin cups
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil and milk.
  5. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture.
  6. Fold pesto and mozzarella into batter until it is evenly incorporated. Do not overmix.
  7. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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