These muffins start with my favorite lemon muffin recipe from Cooking Light. Olive oil and ricotta cheese replace the butter in this recipe which results in a perfectly tender muffin. I have made several variations of these muffins over the years but most recently I added poppyseeds and an earl grey glaze and I think it may be my favorite yet. Admittedly, topping these muffins with a glaze pushes them into more of a treat category than a snack, at least from a caloric standpoint. But the glaze is really nice and unexpected. Infusing cream with some earl grey tea gives it a decidedly floral taste which complements the lemon muffin. Originally, I had hoped to post these last week before Mother’s Day, because they would be so lovely as part of a Mother’s Day Brunch. But that didn’t happen. Life happened. So here they are, a week late, but no less delicious. :)
Arugula pesto, you are one of my new favorite things.
Sidenote: Arugula is also known as salad rocket, garden rocket, or simply, rocket. Doesn’t that make you laugh? What a funny name! Apparently this name is due to arugula’s lightning-fast growth rate. It makes me wonder if even I, Allison of the Black Thumb, could grow it. But then, a plant that is fast-growing doesn’t necessarily make it an easy-to-grow plant. And by easy, I mean that the said plant has to be able to survive and thrive through drought and intrusion of weeds, aka a general neglect on the part of the gardener –>me.
Pesto is a genius creation, don’t you think? Basil, which can have sweet, floral undertones is way different than arugula but substituting arugula is just as good. Instead of sweet and floral, you get grassy and peppery, which works very well with the earthiness of roasted beets. Adding arugula pesto to some quinoa and beets makes a salad that is a fantastic combination of grains, vegetables, and nuts. I first made this with barley instead of quinoa, and I loved it with barley too, but if you are gluten free, quinoa works just as well as is pictured here.