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Author Notes: Ah, the fall! The leaves, the colors, the crisp air, the squash which cry out to you at the market-"take me home! me! me!" And when you have these squash, sitting on your counter, what do you do? Maybe "make muffins" isn't the obvious answer, but it's certainly a tasty option for lunches, or brunches, or just for snacking. I was inspired by this recipe at 101 cookbooks: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/pumpkin-and-feta-muffins-recipe.html but I made some changes based on what I had on hand and they turned out pretty nice. You don't have to make the applesauce if you don't want to, store-bought would work fine (incidentally, though, the sauce is really good on its own. Try throwing in some orange zest, too...)
Anyhow, next time you find yourself with an orphan squash begging to be cooked up with some vegetable friends, give these a try! —summersavory
Makes a dozen
For the pear-ginger-carrot-applesauce:
- 1 apple (any kind you like-I happened to use a fuji)
- 1 pear (again, any type-bosc worked for me)
- 1 large carrot
- 1 piece fresh ginger, thumb-sized
- Peel (or not, if you like peels in your applesauce) the apple, pear, and carrot. Chop up the fruits, and grate the carrot. Peel the ginger and mince it. Throw it all in a pot with a splash of water to keep it from burning on the bottom, and cook it over medium heat until the fruit is soft and juicy. This may make a bit more than you need for the muffins, depending on how big your apple is. Set it aside while you get the rest of the muffin ingredients ready.
And now, the muffins!
- 1 medium-sized acorn squash, or equivalent squash of your choice
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil (for the squash)
- 2 large handfuls of mustard greens, de-stemmed and torn up
- 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley? chives? cilantro? rosemary?)
- 1/2 cup feta, cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 cup pear-ginger-carrot-applesauce, warm or hot (or normal applesauce, if you like)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- butter, for the pan
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Peel the squash and cut it into little pieces (1/2 inch or a bit bigger). Put it on a baking sheet and toss it with the olive oil. Roast the squash in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until it starts to get soft.
- In a large bowl, combine 2/3 of the roasted squash pieces, the mustard greens, the herbs, 2/3 of the feta cubes, and the still-warm applesauce (the heat will help collapse the greens into the batter a bit). Mix that all up, and don't worry if the feta crumbles-that's quite alright.
- In another bowl, beat together the eggs and the yogurt, and then pour that into the squash and greens and stir it in. Finally, throw in the flours, baking powder, salt, and pepper and mix, making sure to stir in all the dry ingredients (but, as with all baked goods, there's no need to over-mix).
- Grease your muffin tin with butter, and be sure to grease it well. Fill the cups all the way full, since the batter doesn't rise dramatically. Take the remaining thirds of the squash and feta pieces, and distribute them over the tops of the muffins, giving them a little poke to make sure they stay on. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool them in the pans for a minute or two before transferring them to a rack. They're good when they're fresh, but I think they taste even better cold on the second day.