Herbs are so rewarding for a gardener of very little talent. The only way anything grows around here is of its own initiative. I put it in the ground, and then it's sink or swim time. But this year I sprinkled some plant food on the garden and the plants really were happy.
This week freezing temperatures hit here in Georgia, earlier, actually than average. Although I do love the crisp weather, it means the end of my little herb garden. Last year I dug up the herbs and brought them in for the winter but they were a pretty pathetic lot, and only one pot of oregano survived to be planted outside in the spring.
This year I decided to harvest the herbs, and let the perennials go dormant outside. (I'm hoping against hope that they come back next year.) I brought in the little pots of arugula, cilantro, and flat leaf parsley that I bought in September. And I cut all of the basil, oregano, thyme, and sage and stuck it in glass jars and vases.
Herb pots and vases of cut herbs join the three pre-existing unruly plants on my kitchen counter. The plant in the middle is a cutting from a Cuban Ivy plant that belonged to my grandmother Olga (1885-1973).Faced with the bounty of the harvest, I got busy researching recipes for these herbs. First up was a recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins with Fresh Sage, that I'd seen on the Baking and Books blog. It uses a modest amount of sage, but the picture and the recipe intrigued me.
- Faced with the prospect of grating a hard sweet potato by hand, I suddenly remembered that my new food processor came with a shredder attachment. Boy, is that ever handy! I shredded the sweet potato and the cheese in no time.
- I added 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper.
- The batter was really thick, so I added a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt. I could have added more buttermilk, but I had a lot of yogurt on hand.
- I made 12 minis and 6 med/lg muffins.
- Turning up the heat 4 minutes before the muffins were done was not going to work on the first bake-through of this recipe, so I skipped that.
mini muffins with a mini sage sprig
I love a good savory muffin or bread. And I loved the idea of these muffins. But they didn't deliver that fantastic cheesy/sagey experience I was expecting.
I enjoyed the first muffin, warm from the oven with a pat of butter. But they are missing something. They absolutely don't work without the butter. Or without being warmed. I gave my brother half a muffin over lunch and he agreed. In fact he didn't want the other half.
I think they would be fine split, toasted, and piled with something, sort of sandwich style. Otherwise they are a bit bland and lacking. If I were to make them again, I think I'd add some grated onion. And maybe some bacon! (of course!) Also I think I'd substitute some rolled oats for some of the flour.
I do like the sweet potato in the muffin - it looks great, boosts the nutritional profile, and adds a subtle sweet-potato-ness. If I don't make this recipe again, I'll try adding some grated sweet potato to a different savory muffin recipe.