I’ve always been fascinated with the Le Petit Prince. When I was in Paris this summer, I spent half of the time looking for the perfect fridge magnet with the perfect illustration and quotation from the book. Finally, on the last day I found it in a souvenir shop in Montmartre, where we had to go in, trying to find shelter from the pouring rain.
If you have read the book, you should know the planet of le Petit Prince - a tiny asteroid where nothing much happens and nothing much grows. Except for the damned spoilt rose. And the baobabs. The baobabs which would take over the whole planet with their roots if le Petit Prince did not do his job of trimming them.
Hopping on this train of thoughts, broccoli always looks to me like thousands of tiny baobabs clustered together in a giant baobab. So I was quite excited to make these cheese-broccoli muffins which remind me of le Petit Prince:
Cheese Broccoli Muffins
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Mixed pepper, cumin, salt (½ tsp each)
Thyme, a couple of sprigs if fresh, or ½ tsp if dried
1 cup (150 gr) cheese or more, if desired (I used
a mixture of Bulgarian yellow cheese “kashkaval”
and Bulgarian white cheese)
About 15 small broccoli florets – one for each muffin
More grated hard cheese, e.g. Grana Padano,
to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 170oC
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and milk
4. Add the cheese and spices to the egg mixture and stir until combined
5. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Do not overmix
6. Fill one-third of each lined muffin cup with the dough, place the broccoli floret in the middle and top with more dough until the broccoli is covered and the muffin cup is about ¾ full
7. Sprinkle each muffin with the grated Grana Padano on top
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pale golden and until a toothpick inserted in one of the muffins comes out clean
Enjoy with tea, Bulgarian ayryan or with a glass of white wine.