Basically: I wanted a savory muffin that would stay moist for days without using butter. This is an experiment that, to be honest, I thought would turn out to be a complete failure. I could have never imagined for these to turn out so delicious! I have tried both a whole wheat version and a gluten free version. Both are equally great.
The versatility of these muffins is also amazing: make them ahead, pack them to lunch or to a trip outdoors, use them for a buffet at a party, or just have them with a green salad. Also, the vegetables can be changed according to the seasons, making them a year-round treat. Keep them in the fridge once they're completely cool. —Valentina Solfrini
- Makes 8 muffins
Brown rice flour
Creamy goat's milk ricotta
Grated Goat cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
15 to 20 ounces
Mixed vegetables, cooked (here I use mushrooms, spinach, and Savoy cabbage)
(more or less) Goat milk
- Prepare the onions: Thinly slice them and stir fry them on low heat in some olive oil. Add a splash of water to avoid using insane amounts of oil and cook them half covered until they start to brown, 20-25 minutes. Check them often to see if they need more water.
- Prepare the other vegetables: In the meantime, stir fry the other vegetables singularly: slice the mushrooms and cook until wilted. I browned the mushrooms for best results: to do so, arrange them in a pan in a singular layer, and cook in olive oil until browned on the bottom. Turn them, repeat. As for the spinach, just lightly stir fry with olive oil, salt and pepper. As for the cabbage (which is optional here), braise it in olive oil and a splash of water until wilted. Add salt and pepper.
- Prepare the batter: Preheat a fan oven to 350F? / 170C?. Separate the egg whites from the yolks. In a bowl, beat the yolks and add the olive oil a little at a time, as for making mayonnaise. We want the eggs to get creamy. You might not need all the oil; save a couple tablespoons for later.
- Combine the flours, starch and baking powder, and sift them a little at a time into the egg cream. Once the mixture gets too hard, add half the milk, the reserved olive oil and start incorporating the ricotta cheese. The mixture should be sticky, like a soft dough. If it's too dough like, add a little more milk, but don't overdo it! Add the grated cheese and mix to incorporate.
- Beat the egg whites until very firm. Add a couple tablespoons of beaten whites to make the batter smoother, then add the rest, folding it in with a circular movement, starting from the bottom and going upwards. We want to incorporate air into the mixture. At the end, you should have a smoother, looser dough, but still sticky. Fold in the cooked vegetables, with the same upward motion.
- Lightly grease and flour 8 muffin tins, or line with muffin cups. Once cooked, they will not stick to the paper or the tins, so you don't need to over-grease anything. Fill the tins almost all the way to the top. Cook in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how your oven cooks. After 30', check with a toothpick to see if they're cooked all the way in. If they're ready, turn off the oven and leave them in for another 5 minutes.
- Let cook a little, unmold, and enjoy warm. They are also delicious at room temperature, and they will keep outside the fridge and stay moist for days, though I dare you to make them last longer that 3 days.
- NOTES: - You can, of course, use regular cow milk's ricotta and milk, and use Parmesan as your grated cheese. I like goat milk products because they're very easily digested. - Change the vegetables according to season. For spring, try a mix of peas, asparagus and artichoke; for winter try Radicchio and cruciferous veggies, and for summer try eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. The possibilities are endless! - Add seeds to increase the nutritional value: Flax, Chia, sunflower...every seed would be great on these.