Monday, February 7, 2011

"a special kinda lovin' reaches right to my heart"

the food: savory butternut squash muffins
the song: "Night by Night" Chromeo

Good news! I uncovered my garden after the cold spell and everything made it! Plus, after a little snow on Friday we had sunny beautiful shorts-worthy weather all weekend. Austin, I am so in love with you.

Speaking of things I love...

I have been eating butternut squash all winter long. Eating it with lentils. Eating it with couscous. Eating it with pasta. And most recently, in delicious savory feta muffins. Can I take a minute to explain my love for butternut squash? It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and indulgent. But it also makes me feel strong and healthy, like I'm making a good choice. I think those are signs of a healthy relationship. 

A few weeks ago, our friend had a Sweet & Savory birthday party (good idea, huh?). These tasty little butternut squash muffins were my contribution to the party. There were also bacon cupcakes, which probably would have won had there been an official savory/sweet battle. But these little muffins held their own and I'm proud of them. They may not have been the champion, but you should see the other guy...

Looking at the ingredient list should give you a good idea about whether or not these muffins are your style. The creamy butternut squash and sharp bite of the feta kept me coming back for another sample. There's not much else to say about them, other than me encouraging you to give them a try.

Savory Butternut Squash Muffins
adapted from 101 Cookbooks  

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
salt and pepper 
1 small bunch spinach or other greens, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup feta
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour 
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 405 degrees with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside. (You can also use muffin cups, which worked well for me.)

Toss the squash with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a roasting sheet or baking pan and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool.

Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, Parmesan, and two-thirds of the feta. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full. Top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash, feta, and pumpkin seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely.



  1. Oh my goooooooosh. Those muffins sound WONDERFUL! I, too, am a Butternut Squash lover. It just blows my mind how decadent it seems, warm and sweet and vaguely dessert-like ... and yet ... it's a vegetable.

    Also, I love the idea for a Sweet & Savory Party! Can I be friends with your friends? Because they sound like amazing cooks.

    I might make your muffins tonight for Valentine's Day. I made your Rosemary Infused Salt for Christmas! So why not keep the tradition alive, and celebrate all of my holidays with your recipes?

  2. Quick question on the baking temp - is it 405 for both the roasting and the actual muffin temp?

  3. @Bohemian- yes, that temp is correct for both. I had to double check myself, because it does seem odd. But yep, that's right! Hope you enjoy them! :)

  4. I'll be making them later this week so I'll let you know how they turn out. I'm going to try goat cheese in place of the feta so it might not work out well at all. :)