Savoury Muffins

Mum and I had lunch at a little organic cafe in Inverness recently.  Along with the simple and rather lovely bowl of vegetable soup I ordered was a savoury muffin.  An outstandingly good savoury muffin: moist and airy and full of  flavour.  When paying for the meal later I commented to the owner that they had been particularly good and said “I’d love to bake these at home.  How do you make them?”

She hesitated a moment then responded, “I can’t tell you that, I’m afraid.  People come from all over for these muffins.”

And so they should, I thought, and bought another one to take home with me.

Savoury Muffins (a reasonable but not perfect imitation of the one eaten in the Riverdale Centre cafe)

(makes 6 – easily doubled)

1 green pepper

1 onion

Olive oil

120g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

¼ tspn bicarb

1/4 tspn salt

2 tblspn pumpkin seeds

10 basil leaves

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 egg, beaten

125ml buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 200 oC
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan.  Add the onion and pepper and cook until just beginning to soften.  Set aside to cool.
  • Sift together the flour, baking power, bicarbonate of soda and salt.  Stir through the pumpkin seeds, basil leaves, parmesan and cooked onion and pepper.
  • Briefly mix the egg, buttermilk and a tablespoon of olive oil together.  Add to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture has just combined.  Do not over stir – I don’t know what would happen but every muffin recipe I’ve ever followed has told me this.
  • Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tin.  Bake for 15mins until golden and risen.


20 thoughts on “Savoury Muffins

  1. Yes , I’ve always wondered what would happen if I stirred muffins once too often . Would I turn into a toad ?
    These sound delicious and , with only half the cheese , relatively low-fat . ( I’m fairly flexible ! )
    Given that I’m unlikely to get to Inverness any time soon , I look forward to treating myself to these , this weekend , in Holland .

  2. sound delicious – shame they didn’t share the recipe – maybe you should encourage them to do a cookbook!

    I love savoury muffins and am always on the look out for new recipes – can highly recommend a roast pumpkin and goats cheese combination

  3. I’ve been on the hunt for weeks for a recipe just like this! Love the strange combination of bell pepper and pumpkin seeds- sounds really satisfying with some soup.

  4. After 20 minutes in the oven mine are nicely golden on the outside but not really baked inside.
    The mixture was neither very liqiud nor too thick, I think. I wondered if I should really mix in all the vegetables, there were at least as much of them as all the other dry ingredients together. In the end I did, but maybe I should not have?

  5. that sounds very good. when i go out i do like to sample soups, cakes, anything tasty really to give me ideas for my cooking, some restaurants and cafes are really helpful but you cant blame them for keeping some things secret. going out without calling in for something to eat somewhere seems a wasted opportunity ~ i think i should call it research !!??

  6. Hi Mike,

    Just tried the recipe again and they turned out very nicely again. Moist inside but definitely cooked. I did have to cook them for 18 mins rather than 15. My oven is fan heated… Perhaps that’s the difference?

    Sorry I can’t help more!

  7. Maybe it’s the fan, though I did set the temperature a little higher than 200 degrees, which usually seems to be enough when translating recipes to a fanless oven. And here more than 30 minutes in the oven did not help.
    I actually still suspect too much vegetables. Could you possibly say how much does an onion and a pepper that you would use for these muffins weigh? Or maybe my vegs were too moist, or overcooked? I don’t know.
    Anyway I must try these muffins again some day. The recipe looks too good to miss, and while I may visit the Riverdale Centre cafe in 2012 according to my current Euro 2012 avoidance plan 🙂 it’s still a long wait.

  8. You inspired me and baked them last night-but I used red better with a small can of sweet corn. I should have added a tad more salt – but they went down well with my friends! Thanks!

  9. Ooh – I love the sound of these. It always amuses me when chefs won’t share their recipes – for me one of the great joys of cooking is the sharing of ideas and recipes! But looks like you did a great job of re-creating these muffins. Great with a bowl of soup I’m sure. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. Aaah, the Riverdale 🙂 We enjoyed their coffee and fabulous raspberry crumble this summer (I do have to admit that the only reason we discovered this little cafe is because of Leakey’s being crowded one fine day…)
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. Usually I bake cheese & mustard scones to go with a bowl of soup, but will give these a try soon.

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