Zucchini-Basil Muffins

From longtime Arlington shareholder Rebecca Krafft— she says this one’s a keeper!

This is a nice alternative to the traditional sugar- and calorie-packed zucchini bread – delicious savory muffins, with the depth added by parmesan cheese and sweetness from zucchini. Apparently you can also freeze them. The original recipe is from Bernard Clayton’s "New Complete Book of Breads," a breadmaker’s bible, which I was able to buy from Alibris.com for a song. Clayton’s recipe only calls for ½ cup of cheese. I increased to one cup, adding a ½ cup to the batter and sprinkled another ½ cup on top.

3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
2 Tbs finely minced fresh basil leaves
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or hard grating cheese (like Pecorino Romano)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease muffin tins. (Makes 18 regular size muffins)

(Production note—in the food processor, grate the cheese with the metal chopping blade and empty into a container. Mince the basil with the metal blade; then switch to the grating blade and grate all the zucchini into the working bowl along with the basil.)

Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a large bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and half of cheese in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid, stirring by hand. Don’t overblend! Stir in the zucchini and basil.

Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. Sprinkle the top with the cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges of the muffins; they stick a little because of the cheese. Then turn out on rack to cool.

Serve while warm. I am told these freeze very well.