I could never get over-baconed.
But if I give Nick one more pork-centric plate, he’s going to hurl it at my head (after eating everything on it, of course.) So, in the interest of avoiding damage to both my Calvin Klein dinnerware and my cerebral cortex, I prepared a light, baconless dinner that included savory zucchini basil muffins. I found the original recipe on Chowhound, when I was in search of a use for the most recent additions to my crisper, a trio of dark green zucchini.
Zucchini requires a little duplicity on my part, since Nick isn’t a big fan. I am, so I insist upon cooking with it, avoiding things that showcase it, like tians and ratatouilles, and tending towards the slightly more demure. And it doesn’t get much more demure than muffins.
I’ve wanted to make a savory muffin, something that could be an ideal sidekick for summer soups and salads. I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe, subbing 1/2 whole-wheat flour, adding some dry mustard for a mini kick (a kick-lette, if you will), and upping the all-important cheese quotient. The zucchini-ness is subtle enough not to put off Nick, and present enough to satisfy my zucchini fix. The basil is a nice addition, and I think it would work well with thyme too. And you know what it would be even better with? Bacon.
Zucchini Basil Muffins
Makes 12 muffins.
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbsp. minced basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toss shredded zucchini with 1/4 tsp. salt and set in a colander in the sink to drain.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup muffin tin, or use my favorite, Pam with Flour.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and then stir in milk and oil.
4. Combine flour, sugars, baking powder, mustard, and remaining salt with a whisk, to aerate.
5. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix, just until flour is moistened (batter won’t be completely smooth). Gently mix in zucchini and basil. Fill greased muffin cups about 3/4 full and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.