Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Another Springtime Lunch...

The warmer weather always makes me feel like sitting outside with a bowl of pasta, soaking up the deligtful sunshine. For lunch on Thursday last week, I made Nigella's tagliolini al pesto amaro (which I actually made with casarece) from Forever Summer, as well as a batch of her rhubarb muffins from Feast.

The pesto is different from ordinary pesto in that it uses rocket as its base, instead of basil. It's just a case of mixing up rocket, garlic, pine nuts, anchovies and parmesan cheese in a blender, and then slowly adding olive oil as well as a spoonful of ricotta. Then you can toss it through the pasta. I used casarece because I heard that it goes well with pesto, and so bought a packet after returning home from Italy the first time. That was 2 years ago. Whoops.


Pasta

Anyway, the pesto and pasta tasted great, and is definitely a contender for a regular family meal.

The rhubarb muffins are just ordinary muffins made with a buttermilk batter, with the addition of wheatgerm (I used rolled oats, which didn't have a detrimental effect) and some chopped up rhubarb. Easy peasy.


Rhubarb Muffins

Having made many of Nigella's muffin recipes before, I knew beforehand that I would have to cut down on the sugar content, even with the sour rhubarb in the mixture. The recipe stipulated 250g brown sugar, I only used 200g. They're fantastic - soft and warm inside, with a delectably crunchy and fragrant top. The sour rhubarb against the sweet cakey mixture is just lovely.


Muffin inside

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi there,
i'm a big fan of muffin, especially those with crispy top..some delis on campus have muffin with that thick crispy top, but, other delis only have muffins with very soft tops..do you know what makes them different?! i'm really thinking about making them myself, but, the top always turns out soft -_- help me pleaseee

love ur blogs! keep posting =)

Sarah said...

Hello!

Hmm... I'm not quite sure what makes the difference. Usually I've found that a light and fluffy batter results in a crispy top.

So, don't overmix the batter (a lumpy batter makes a light muffin), and try and find a recipe with some sort of acid in it - buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice etc. This tends to keep the finished muffin tender on the inside, and crispy on top.

For specific examples, these rhubarb muffins, and Nigella's lemon raspberry muffins worked really well.

Have fun baking!!

xox Sarah