These taste as good as they sound. Normally we associate muffins with something sweet, but let’s get away from sweet snacks and breakfasts and try something savory. These feta and spinach muffins were inspired by a recipe I saw in an old issue of Bon Appetit and made a bit more Greek and Mediterranean. Obviously, I used a mild extra virgin olive oil instead of the generic vegetable oil the recipe recommends. It pairs beautifully with the feta, spinach and the red pepper. The peppers I used here are the Greek red marinated peppers known as Florina peppers (Piperia Florinis) which are cultivated in the Greek region of Macedonia near Florina. I had the opportunity to spend some time there during New year’s. These peppers are sweet and usually served with olive oil and vinegar as a meze. I also use them in sandwiches, with rice, pasta and quinoa too. They are delicious and you can get them roasted in a jar or fresh (in Greece). If you are not able to find them, you can use regular jarred red peppers.
The kids loved the muffins and had them as a snack and for breakfast the next day. They are great as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a large salad. I used baby spinach but as long as you cut the spinach very thinly it will blend in fine. You can also substitute some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
What type of feta?
When using feta, make sure you do not buy already crumbled, it may not be as fresh and there are other ingredients often added to it. Greek feta (in Europe only Greek feta can be called feta) is preferred, but if you are unable to find it, make sure the feta you do buy is made with sheep’s milk not cow’s (there is no such thing as cow’s milk feta). Check here for more tips on buying feta.
Savory Feta Spinach and Sweet Red Pepper Muffins
- 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour you can substitute partly with whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup low fat milk
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh spinach
- ¾ cup crumbled feta
- 1/3 cup drained and patted dry jarred Florina peppers or other red pepper
- Preheat oven at 375 F (190 C).
- In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, paprika, and salt)
- In another bowl mix the olive oil, eggs, milk.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until blended with a wooden spoon. The dough will be thick.
- Add the feta, spinach and peppers and mix gently until all ingredients are spread throughout the whole mixture.
- Divide mixture in muffin pan that you have lined with muffin/cupcake liners or you can use a silicon muffin tray and grease it with a bit of olive oil (I have used it here). You should have enough for 12 medium muffins.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove when toothpick comes out clear when inserted in the muffin.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes and remove from tray. Let them cool a couple of hours before serving.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved