Friday, October 9, 2009

Asparagus Muffins

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I love asparagus. I would gladly eat it in prepared any way, in any dish, at any time, in any place. My latest new asparagus experience was in a muffin, in August, at a picnic, in Prospect Park (suddenly this post sounds like a game of Clue).

I thought it would be cute to have a little bit of asparagus sticking out of the center of each muffin, but baking the asparagus made it droop (which should not have surprised me), earning these savory treats the nickname "Umbilical Cord Muffins". Mmm....tempting.

To make these muffins, chop a bunch of asparagus up relatively small and toss it with a bit of olive oil, salt and a few minced garlic cloves. Just enough to coat, though extra garlic is always good. For cuteness, you can reserve 24 asparagus tips to cross over the tops of the muffins before sticking them in the oven. You can leave the asparagus sitting around as long as you want, even chop it the night before and stick it in the fridge.

I didn't actually write a recipe up for this, so there's going to be a bit of math involved. Sorry.

Take the plain muffin recipe of your choice and multiply all the amounts by 1.5. I always do this to get a nice, big muffin top. No matter how fluffy a recipe says it is, I'm always disappointed until I 1.5 it (note: I didn't 1.5 the muffins in the picture above because they were being served with scones and biscuits). Swap olive oil for whatever fat the recipe calls for, and if you're watching what you eat, you can decrease the oil by a teaspoon or two, because it will come in with the asparagus. Half the amount of sugar and vanilla used in the recipe, if it's for sweet muffins. If the recipe is already for savory muffins and the sugar and vanilla are already in pretty small amounts, it might be a good idea to leave them alone.

Once your batter is done, fold in your asparagus bits, fill your muffin tins as high as you can, get cute with the asparagus tips, if you so choose, and bake at whatever temperature for however long the muffin recipe you used says.

Most muffins will still be faintly sweet, even with only half the sugar, and the contrast between the sweetness of the muffin itself and the savoriness of the asparagus/garlic combination is really interesting and fun.


Jeni Treehugger said...

I'm still laughing at the title.
They sound kick asparagus awesome!

Adrienne said...

I love these so much - the only thing I would definitely do different was add the asparagus after since the tips tasted slightly burned after a trip to the oven. Other than that they tasted glorious!

Amey said...

wow! aren't you clever... converting sweeties into savories! First the basil rolls and now asparagus muffins. Lovely!

Shanna said...

Wow! These look fantastic! What a great idea!

Erin said...

Umbilical cords, hah! Floppy asparagus aside, this is a great idea. I never think to do savory muffins.

Neta said...

mmm asparagus <3
The muffins look great.