We all need snack ideas to avoid resorting to the cookie jar, and this recipe is one to add to your armory. These are light, extremely great tasting and perfect for eating when you and the kids are on the go.
butter, for greasing (optional)
⅔cupyellow cornmeal, polenta or semolina
1⅓cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1⅓cups grated zucchini
⅓cupolive or canola oil
2½ouncescooked ham, salami or chorizo, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the holes of the muffin pan, then press a 5-inch square of parchment paper into each hole, shaping the paper to fit by folding the sides. Alternatively, line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cupcake cases.
Put the pine nuts in a dry, nonstick skillet over medium heat a few minutes, shaking and tossing the pan continuously until they start to turn golden brown. Tip them out onto a plate to cool. (Don’t leave them in the pan or they will quickly burn.)
Mix together the flour, baking powder and cornmeal in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, lightly mix together two-thirds of the cheese and all the remaining ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix quickly and lightly to form a lumpy batter. (Over-mixing at this stage makes the muffins turn out heavy.) Spoon the batter into the prepared cases and scatter the remaining cheese over the tops. Put the pan in the oven and bake 20 minutes, or until risen and golden brown on the tops.
Leave the muffins to cool in the pan a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.