Experiment: Spinach, Parmessan & Pine Nut Muffins

Hi friends! This muffin is a test - I am still not sure if I really like the end result but I am crazy about parmessan cheese. Freshly grated parmessan cheese (compared to the parmessan cheese in a container) is absolutely delicious! You might think you cannot taste the difference, but really, you can. I thought a lovely variaton on this recipe would be adding 1/4 cup of finely chopped black olives. I was concerned about it being too much of a mouthful; but the nutmeg really brings out the warm flavor of the recipe. This is a dense, moist muffin and the I was a bit surprised by the subtlety in flavors. Next time when I am cooking down the spinach I will add the nutmeg at that stage. I do think it will make the spinach not be quite as overpowering.

I purchased the fresh parmessan in the cheese section of my local Hannaford's grocery store and grated it myself. I purchased 2 versions of Pine Nuts since I have never really used them in a muffin recipe before. The best description I can come up with for a Pine Nut is it looks like a seeded Sunflower Seed and tastes like a Macadamia Nut. It is a perfect pairing with the spinach and parmessan. The nutmeg really complements the recipe and trust me ~ you will not be able to eat only a single muffin.

Again, I suggest the "mini-muffin pan" approach and trick yourself into "fun-size" then it feels as though you are eating more!


Spinach Parmessan & Pine Nut Muffins

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. fresh shredded parmessan cheese
1 1/4 cups milk
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lightly beaten egg
1 cup chopped cooked spinach
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz.) pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees.

2. Line muffin pan with paper cups. Set aside.

3. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

4. In a large bowl, combine milk, oil and egg with an electric mixer until well combined.

(Mixture will look frothy as pictured below when you combine wet ingredients)
5. Fold the flour mixture into the milk mixture and stir until nearly combined. Stir in the parmessan.
(Mix in first half of flour mixture, fold in second half. Dough thickens quickly!)

(Dough will look very thick, as pictured below)

6. Stir in spinach and pine nuts.

(Batter will look like this)

7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with additional parmessan cheese and bake for 19-22 minutes. Depending on oven. Muffins are done when toothpick comes out clean from center of the muffin.

8. Remove pan from the oven and let muffins cool for 5 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack.


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