Grasses stand tall and cosmos congregate alongside our car, waving summer farewell. On the road, we drive past farm stalls beckoning us with their green roofs and white porches. Crates of avocado, mango and squash conspire with homemade honey and fresh cheese to lure us in. Not surprisingly, I succumb. And loaded up with a couple of golden butternut squash, a boxful of avos and a block of cheese, continue the rest of my journey conjuring delicious daydreams.
Back home, I’m in the mood to roast the squash with splashes of olive oil, a fat pod of garlic, salt and pepper. But I want to do more with it. Savoury wheat and rye muffins swollen with the mellow caramelised sweetness of the squash, crispy bacon and salty chunks of creamy feta seem to echo my mood.
I begin by roasting butternut squash and unpeeled cloves of garlic with a healthy dousing of olive oil and seasoning,till their edges are caramelised and they are cooked through but still plump. The squash cools while I fry the bacon to a crisp, before finally making the muffin batter. I used wholemeal flour and rye flour in equal measure but this recipe works fine even with just plain flour. Once the roasting is done, the muffins hardly take any time. Leftover roasted vegetables would be perfect for breakfast muffins the next morning. In fact these can be a mid-morning snack, a healthy, light lunch on the move or an easy treat in the picnic basket.
Wholemeal and Rye Flour Muffins with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Feta
- Makes 12
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 small butternut squash cut to a medium dice
- 3/4 cup feta
- 1 1/4 cups rainbow chard or spinach finely chopped
- 4-5 rashers of bacon chopped, fried crisp and drained
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tsps baking powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and roast the squash with olive oil till lightly browned and cooked. Cool while making the muffin batter.
- In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Then mix in the vegetables (reserving some squash for topping the muffins), peeled and smashed garlic, bacon and feta.
- Beat the milk and eggs together in another bowl before adding to the dry mixture. Check the seasoning, heap into greased muffin molds,and top with the remaining roasted squash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into them comes out clean.