Slow-roasted piri piri spiced tomatoes with spinach in savoury muffins
I wonder if you share my terrible habit and guilty pleasure. It is so irresistibly wrong yet so right that I convince myself that it is worth it, between remorseful moments.
My justification? Well it starts a little something like this. This is of course not an excuse. I’m busy, so busy that it is hard to think sometimes and thinking is important, isn’t it? I need a quick fix, especially when I am out and can’t stop, after all, what would happen if I totally ran out of steam? That would be dangerous, wouldn’t it? Sometimes I feel sore inside and I need a pick-me-up…I think about it a lot. In the bath, on the train and even in the park with squealing children around…well, with all that commotion, I deserve it don’t I. And then at the end of the day, when I slump into my spot on the sofa, my body throbs with fatigue, I need it. I need a treat, I deserve one don’t I? And it is summer! We are making memories at the zoo, picnics in the park, lounging in the garden with friends or by frolicking by the sea and what happens.
Yes, out comes the sugar and we don’t even notice it. I think it’s addictive and in this season of parties and picnics I find it harder to say no…well, everyone is doing it aren’t they?
I come from a family of diabetics and I really should know better. My body needed less sugar when I had my boy and it showed, very much. So I really should know better.
And here is what I am taking to the next picnic in the sun that we are currently enjoying. Slow-roasted piri piri spiced tomatoes with spinach in savoury muffins. I adore slow roasted cherry tomatoes, the flavour is tongue tingling, sensationally rousing. I am hooked on that feeling of popping something into my mouth and having an intense flavour burst that revives me. Often I think of sugar for that instant hit, but it really doesn’t have to be that one. These tomatoes with their sweet zing and spicy kick really do hit the spot.
Now for the green stuff; mellow spinach adds texture to these muffins whilst the salad fennel adds peppery notes and there is a bit of cheese going in there too, it releases a really alluring aroma as the cheese bakes. ‘ahhh’ factor right here.
300g self-raising flour
2 tsp. piri piri spices
A couple of glugs of olive oil for roasting the tomatoes
2 handfuls of red Leicester cheese
A handful of pine nuts
200g spinach, finely chopped
90g melted butter
30g salad fennel
225g good quality cherry tomatoes
- You will need to pre-prepare the tomatoes. Do this by slicing them in half and placing them cut sized up on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and the piri piri spice mix. Roast them in the oven at 140degrees for about an hour. Allow them to cool.
- To make the muffins combine the flour, salt (I used about 1 tsp.) and the cheese, salad fennel and spinach and mix thoroughly before adding the tomatoes and mix again.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and grease the muffin trays.
- In a measuring jug combine the milk, butter and eggs and whisk it all until it is smooth.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix it all to a batter.
- Evenly distribute the batter and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.