Beetroot, Walnut, Wild Garlic and Goat’s Cheese Brunch Muffins
When I was sent a couple of mini bottles of olive oil to sample, I was wondering what I might do with them. I didn’t wonder for long. Since making the beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese muffins back in 2012, I have made variations on the theme on numerous occasions. Not only are they delicious and relatively quick to make, but they are packed full of nutritious ingredients and are perfect portable material into the bargain. I used to regularly take them in to work for my packed lunch and they are great for picnics.
For this batch, I stuck with the beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese angle as I had some beetroots that needed using up, some goat’s cheese in the fridge and I like the crunch and flavour of walnuts. However as it is wild garlic season, I thought I’d add some of that as well and some thyme from the garden. Rather than using cocoa powder, I grated in some 100% chocolate. This was also the first time I made them using olive oil. As I mentioned previously we get through a fair amount of it. We used to buy it in large six litre tins, but when our local organic shop closed, our supply dried up. In the end I didn’t use the olive oil I was sent as they only measured 80ml in total and were a good quality cold pressed Greek version which would be better used as a dip or salad dressing.
These two tone muffins were so good, we found it hard to stop at one, even though they were quite substantial. The flavour of the olive oil came through and made them even more delicious. This is a good way to sneak beetroot into the diet of non-beetroot lovers like CT; he didn’t complain once. In fact, I had a hard time holding him back. The mix of flavours was good and the wild garlic was a subtle but discernible seasoning that worked well with the goat’s cheese. The crunchy nuts gave additional flavour and texture. Next time I make a variation of these muffins, I think I might stick with the olive oil.
As this is an original vegetarian recipe idea for breakfast, brunch or lunch, I am entering these beetroot, wild garlic, walnut and goat’s cheese muffins into the Betta Living Vegetarian Recipe Competition.
I am sending these off to Karen’s Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage, as the muffins contained ramsons as well as thyme, although sadly no mint!
- 300g flour (I used ⅓ wholemeal, ⅓ rye, ⅓ white)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp sea or rock salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 15g dark chocolate (unsweetened) – grated
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 100 ml olive oil
- 100 ml yogurt
- 100 ml milk
- 100g soft goat’s cheese
- 4 smallish beetroot weighing about 300g (250g when scrubbed, topped, tailed & grated)
- 8 wild garlic leaves (ramsons) – finely chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves
- 50g walnuts – roughly chopped
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl with the chocolate and pepper. Stir in the walnuts and make a well in the centre.
- Break in the eggs and start stirring, slowly adding the oil, yogurt and milk as you go along until just combined.
- Gently mix in the beetroot, wild garlic, thyme and ⅔ of the goat’s cheese (cubed).
- Spoon into a greased 12 hole muffin tin (I used two 6 hole silicone moulds).
- Divide the remaining ⅓ cheese into 12 pieces and place one on top of each muffin.
- Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes until the muffins are well risen and nicely browned. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes then turn out not a wire rack to cool completely – or eat whilst warm.
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