Muffins filled with sunny Mediterranean flavours
Aoife Noonan: These savoury muffins are a godsend and a perfect quick fix
Sundried tomato, feta and spinach muffins. Photograph: Harry Weir
Muffins are not just for the sweet-toothed. I sometimes prefer a savoury snack over a sweet one, even as a child, and my mother can attest to that. I love savoury snacks, the kind of snack to get you through until dinner time when you crave something that isn’t laden with sugar or chocolate.
These savoury muffins are a godsend and a perfect portable snack or quick fix. I love them for breakfast, as a quick grab and go start to the day, or with eggs as an alternative to toast. They are perfect with soup, roast tomato in particular, or in place of sandwiches on picnics or kids lunches.
They have all of my favourite sunny Mediterranean flavours; sundried tomato, red onion, feta and spinach, with some herbs thrown in for good measure. Here I have added basil and a pinch of dried oregano, but a mix of any soft herbs would work well; tarragon, parsley or chive are delicious.
I like to caramelise the onions first in a little soft brown sugar and a splash of tangy balsamic vinegar, which makes them gorgeously rich and sticky. Once the onions are cooled down, it’s a matter of tossing everything into a bowl, giving it a quick mix and piling into muffin tins before baking. I cook my onions first and let them cool while I prepare the rest of the ingredients to save time. The whole process is fairly painless and is prepped, baked and cooled in 45 minutes.
Once cooked, these muffins have a beautiful crumpet-like quality; bubbly and soft in texture rather than bready and dense, like you might assume a savoury muffin to be. This is down to the sundried tomatoes and onions, as they add moisture.
If I know I won’t get through six muffins in the week, I’ll freeze a few for another time. They are great for having stashed in the freezer for when you want something different with your bowl of soup or eggs. They defrost pretty quickly, and are also lovely toasted and smeared with salty butter if the mood takes you.