Pesto Muffins

I’m pretty happy with the growth of my basil plants this year. There was a time when I would make pesto and then wait for the leaves to grow again. That felt like the longest wait ever. Basil leaves aren’t available in our markets unlike in other bigger cities. This is a plant that came to join my potted brood only about 2 years ago but did not increase and multiply. This year when I bought two more plants at the horticultural show in January, the seller had pointed at the blooms and told me that I’ll never run out of basil in my garden. I wasn’t too sure but the two plants went into large clay pots that had a good amount of cow manure. Both did really well and by April I scattered the seeds and now I have a basil garden.;)

My sons love pesto and I often make it usually with almonds or walnuts. Although we love it best with pasta, we even have them with rotis! Sometimes I simply tear off the larger leaves and add them to paratha dough. Adds a fragrant touch to a simple meal.

I did look around for more uses of pesto and liked the idea of using it in muffins. The muffins I made had cracked tops and didn’t look the most tempting but believe me, they were delicious!!

Pesto made with almonds

1/2 cup pesto (recipe here)
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 cubes of Amul cheese, grated
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe chillies, chopped with seeds intact
This makes 12 muffins.

Preheat the oven to 170C. 
Sieve the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs and add the milk. Blend it in using a whisk.
Add the oil, whisk again.
Add the dry ingredients to this mixture and mix. Add the pesto and mix it gently.
Line the muffin pan with paper liners and with the help of a tablespoon, place the batter in the lined moulds.
Bake for about 20 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

I did not use extra salt in the batter as the pesto had enough seasoning with both salt and pepper. And this cheese is salty. Earlier I would have been tempted to add a large pinch but lessons learnt in the kitchen make you stop and think.:) The muffins had a wonderful unique aroma that must have made the neighbours think about what on earth I was baking. No wonder they turned out exactly like how I thought they would except for the cracks! And the little kick from the chillies felt just right!

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