Early Saturday morning saw me on a ferry bound for the magical island of Bainbridge and another yoga retreat with my awesome friend Jen. We are into our third year of joining forces on these day-long celebrations and they are a true anchor of stability and centered-ness in our chaotic lives. Forgive me if I sound a little woo-woo – I’m still coming down off the yoga high.
Memories from last year’s summer retreat include scenes from a bright sunny day – lunch outside at picnic tables and towels laid out on the grass for chatting and post-lunch snoozing in the sunshine. This year, through the window of the yoga studio, I watched the rain drip down from the sky at approximately the same rate as the sweat dripped off my body (the morning session is hot yoga). Summer? What summer? As I write it is 30 degrees cooler here than it was on the Eastern shore last week. Sigh.
But even though the weather is not co-operating, my body is still telling me it is summer by the food that it craves. The thermometer may say butternut squash and mushrooms, but my cravings run more along the lines of berries and salads. So, I made salads for the retreat. Four of them including this potato salad which got rave reviews. I thought about doing some kind of sandwich but in the end opted for two kinds of savory baked goods. One was a corn bread featuring a corn relish and the other was this muffin.
This is a Savory Spinach, Feta, and Peppadew Muffin and it was my favorite thing I made for the retreat. Actually no, my favorite thing was the Salted Caramel Squares which I will share with you next. But as far as savory goes, the muffins were tops. They are easy to make, beautiful, just the tiniest bit sweet (from a bit of sugar) and the tiniest bit spicy (from the Peppadews) and they keep well overnight in the refrigerator. I would love them alongside a bowl of soup, with a hearty salad, or all by their lonesome.
(By the way, I’m sure I’m bound to get questions about those placemats. They are paper (recyclable!) and I got them at an adorable stationery store in our neighborhood called Paper Delights. They come 50 to a pack and I’ve been using them for my classes.)
Peppadews Previously on Dana Treat: D’Lish Peppadew Peppers
One Year Ago: Couscous and Mograbiah with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
Two Years Ago: Roasted Tomato and Olive Galette with Fontina
Three Years Ago: Leek Frittata
Savory Spinach, Feta, and Peppadew Muffins
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes 12 standard muffins
You can find Peppadew peppers in one of two places. Either on the condiment aisle nearby the jarred roasted red peppers or on the olive bar if your grocery store has one. I have seen them whole and sliced – either would work here since you need to chop them anyway.
Non-stick vegetable oil spray
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup thinly sliced spinach leaves
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup drained mild Peppadew peppers or roasted red peppers, chopped
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray 12 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, both paprikas, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk milk, oil, and eggs in large bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients; whisk just until blended. Add spinach, feta, and peppers; fold to incorporate evenly. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (cups will be filled to top).
Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around muffins to release from pan. Invert pan to release muffins, then turn muffins right side up to cool completely.
(DT: I made these the night before, allowed them to cool completely, wrapped them, and stored them in the fridge. I let them come to room temp before serving.)