zucchini and sesame seed muffins

Zucchini Sesame Muffin

It’s funny how fast some things become habit. As we were packing to head to Greece about 2 weeks ago, Ivica turns and asks me: “What is going to happen with the muffin business while we’re gone?” Nothing, I sigh, they will be baked and eaten by other people. I missed 2 weeks of muffins, a jam filled one and a carrot spice one (both of which sound delicious) that made Mondays a little less special.

I’m determined to bake those, even belated. It will be an excuse to bake outside of Muffin Monday. Ivica is excited about the jam filled ones, while the carrot one appeals a tiny bit more to me. But, until the day I manage to squeeze in a short muffin baking session in our crazy days, I’m back to the regularly scheduled muffin program, happy to re-join my baking friends who I’ve missed greatly.

This week, we baked a savory muffin, something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Great timing from Anu who chose a zucchini muffin for this week, as I had a couple and wondered what to do with them (I like them okay, but they are not one of my favorite veggies and I sometimes find it challenging to work them into dishes). I made a quick run to the store (Ogi in tow, content in the baby carrier, charming away the cashiers) to get some ingredients I was missing and once home, unloaded the baby and put him down for one of his legendary 30min (cat)naps which buys me just enough time to prepare the batter and fill the muffin cups. (He’s contemplating joining me back in the kitchen and making muffins with me, but the zucchini scared him as he is currently engrossed in his own love affair with steamed plums).

Zucchini & Sesame Muffin

At the spur of a moment, I decided to add some grated cheddar-type cheese, just about a handful. In retrospect, I think I should have chosen a saltier cheese (perhaps feta? parmesan?) because even though I slightly upped the salt (to 1/4t from the recommended 1/8t), these still tasted as if they needed a bit (okay, a bit more than a bit) more salt. And I’m not someone crazy for salt, believe me. Ivica found them bland as a standalone snack and paired them with…well, a number of things… for a late night feast (I’m not going to give you details, some things are better left unsaid). I like how they are moist and fluffy and of course, give me anything with sesame seeds on top and I’ll say “yes, please”.

I think I’ll make these again but my brain is now thinking of ways to up the flavor slightly (besides my obsession with cheese). Olives? Sun dried tomatoes? Shredded spinach? Green onions (ha ha:))? What do you think?

Zucchini & Sesame Muffin

ZUCCHINI AND SESAME SEED MUFFINS
recipe adapted from 1 Mix, 100 Muffins
makes 12 muffins — though I ended up with enough batter to make about 16

ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini (roughly 300grams)
  • 1 handful of grated cheese (optional – I added this as a part of my cheese addiction program)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt – double, triple, quadruple this..
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds (+ extra for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs – I used more –about 2 tablespoons of a mix of dill weed, dried mint and dried basil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons oil or melted butter – I used olive oil

instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F / 200C.  Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or use paper liners
  2. Grate the zucchini and make sure you squeeze them out to get rid of any moisture (don’t skip this).
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add the buttermilk and oil.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, mixed herbs and the 2 T of sesame seeds.
  5. Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients from the medium bowl. Add the zucchini and cheese to the mix. Stir carefully until moistened (do not overmix).
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and scatter some more sesame seeds on top of each muffin.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes (recipe said 20, but mine weren’t done after that time).
  8. Let them cool in the pan and serve warm; this is the kind of muffin that tastes best when warm.

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12 comments
  1. Baker Street says: October 3, 201110:15 am

    I love the cheesy addition! So glad your back! Your muffins look great! :)

  2. dudut @mytwistedrecipe says: October 3, 201110:24 am

    i have the same comment, more salt please?

    they look lovely, dear!

    happy tp be baking with you :)

  3. Anita Menon says: October 3, 201112:55 pm

    so lovely baking with you this monday. Like you mentioned in your post, this is a very versatile recipe. Even I added a bit of cheddar and fresh parsley apart from the other dried herbs. I too wish it had a tab bit more salt than originally intended in the recipe. I ate a few with tomato ketchup and it was swell :-)

  4. Stay-At-Home-Chef says: October 3, 20114:26 pm

    Good to have you back baking with us again! And I would highly recommend baking the two recipes you missed…they were great! These muffins look beautiful and I’m sure you’ll have fun playing around with all of the possible flavour combinations. Might be interesting to go a little Indian with some masala and mango chutney? Food for thought :)

  5. Carrie @ poet in the pantry says: October 3, 20115:01 pm

    Your muffins look great! Glad to have you back with us! I felt they were missing…something…too. Salty cheese probably would have helped.

  6. Aimee @ Food: Je t'Aimee says: October 3, 20115:02 pm

    Elena!!!! Welcome back! I missed you, too, my friend!

    Oh gosh this post made me laugh. I think feta, sundried tomatoes and spinach would all be DELICIOUS additions to this muffin! I would say you’d need *at least* three green onions, if you were to go that route… hee.

    Your photos are absolutely stunning, as usual! I also love the combination of herbs you chose! Definitely try the Spiced Carrot Muffins from last week. They were amazing!

  7. Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves says: October 3, 20115:02 pm

    For starters, a trip to Greece is a pretty good tradeoff! I’d probably put some spinach in there, but they look pretty good for starters!

  8. Terra says: October 4, 20114:53 am

    Look at those gorgeous, hearty muffins! Yum:-) I love when treats are topped sesame seeds, such a fun, nutty addition:-) Hugs, Terra

  9. Let Me Eat Cake says: October 4, 20118:49 am

    i missed 3 muffin mondays now and I agree with you mondays just weren’t as special without the muffins but I’m back in the game next week and glad to see you’re back as well. i hope you enjoyed your Greece!

  10. carolineadobo says: October 4, 20119:49 am

    Hope you and the family had a lovely time in Greece.
    Cheese was a great addition. Already thinking of baking these again adding caramelized onions or mashed up roasted garlic. Maybe even sauteed mushrooms or eggplant like Rattatouille Muffins? What do you think?

  11. Sally - My Custard Pie says: October 4, 20112:58 pm

    Agree totally that this recipe needed cheese! Parmesan would be my vote. Lovely pics.

  12. Yuri - Chef Pandita says: October 4, 20119:45 pm

    great minds :D I added some cheese too. My brother and neighbor loved em! Welcome back to muffin monday, I skipped a few muffins too and I know exactly how it feels…

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