Cheddar, Herb, & Olive Oil Muffins

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This past week, I’ve been craving warm and hearty carbs. I think it’s the prolonged winter temperatures here in New York that have me wanting muffins and soup instead of fresh fruit and veggies.

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In an attempt to satisfy my craving while making something that also nodded at the (hopefully) approaching spring, I decided my weekend baked good (there’s typically at least one) would be these delicious and comforting savory muffins.

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I knew I wanted to bake an atypical muffin, and after deciding to go with savory flavors and doing some research, I think I hit upon a winning combination.

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I used a trio of fresh green herbs — thyme, parsley, and dill — along with lemon zest and juice to brighten up these muffins. These flavors are built on top of the caramelized onion and garlic, which you really just can’t omit. The onion becomes sweet after sautéing in olive oil and adds a wonderful depth of flavor. On top of that, I used olive oil as the choice of moisture and fat, which is a lighter and fruitier alternative to butter. The cheddar cheese unites all of these ingredients and provides that comfort I was looking for. There’s really nothing as good as crisped cheddar on top of a freshly baked muffin.

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These muffins would be an excellent savory option to make for a brunch alongside a frittata, and they would be equally delicious as an accompaniment to a chili or soup for a winter (or cold spring) dinner. Let me know how these muffins turn out and if you experiment with any other herb or savory flavor combinations. I can’t wait until the weather warms up, but until then, these muffins will have to suffice.

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Cheddar, Herb, & Olive Oil Muffins

Adapted from From My Sweet Heart

Makes one dozen muffins

–       2 tbs. olive oil for sautéing onions and garlic

–       2 shallots or 1 small yellow onion, diced

–       4 cloves garlic, minced

–       salt and pepper for onions

–       2 eggs

–       ½ cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)

–       1 ¼ cup half and half (regular milk is fine, too)

–       ½ olive oil

–       zest of one lemon

–       juice of ½ lemon

–       2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour

–       2 tsp. baking powder

–       2 tsp. sugar

–       2 tsp. salt

–       ¼ tsp. pepper

–       1 tbs. fresh thyme, chopped

–       1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

–       1 tbs. fresh dill, chopped

–       ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top

–       Cooking spray for muffin tins

Add onion and garlic to olive oil once it is heated in a sauté pan. Sauté until onions are caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk eggs, yogurt, half and half, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a bowl. Add flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and pepper, and mix until dry ingredients are incorporated. Add fresh herbs and cheddar cheese, stirring until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin tins coated with cooking spray, and top each muffin with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

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4 thoughts on “Cheddar, Herb, & Olive Oil Muffins

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