Let the fun begin! This is officially my first pumpkin treat of the season. How did I wait so long, you ask? I have no idea. If you weren't around last year, get ready for a LOT of pumpkin to show up over the next month or so. I just can't get enough of it! These muffins are like nothing I've ever had before, but my kids and I really liked them! Maybe a pinch more salt next time.
1 tablespoon unsalted butterPreheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cubed pumpkin or butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds kernels
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup cubed feta
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer 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, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. 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, be careful not to over mix.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta (see photo up above). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.
Makes 12 muffins.