Savory #MuffinMonday

Olives in muffins? Did I read the e-mail from our Muffin Monday fearless leader right? Yup. Olives were the theme for this week. Hmm. I’m not a huge olive fan. I associate olives with martinis, salad bars and Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oil. (I first saw the cartoon in Japanese. It was fun to travel to the States during summer vacation and experience Popeye’s different English inflection.) So, I was stumped…. Until I remembered my friend, Paula’s post at Vintage Kitchen Notes about Dorie Greenspan’s Cheddar Scallion Pecan Quick Bread. (Dorie Greenspan is the revered American author of multiple cookbooks and many prestigious awards.)

 Savory Olive Muffin 

I cut down the recipe’s ½ cup of onions to ¼ cup. (Forgive me if you are a Dorista - Dorie Greenspan follower - and wouldn’t dream of tampering with the master’s recipe.) I figured a ¼ cup of chopped olives would compensate for the reduced onion. I skipped the nuts. After scooping the mix into muffin tins, I sprinkled extra grated cheddar cheese on top. Of course, I garnished the muffins with olives!

The result? Well, let’s just say I’m a bigger fan of olives thanks to Paula and Dorie Greenspan. The soft textured bread and abundance of cheese brought cobbled streets and cafés to mind. My muffin reminded me of prowling the pastry shops in Paris.  Happy to report, too, that my adjustment of onions and addition of olives worked out.


Savory Olive Muffins
Adapted from the Dorie Greenspan's Savory Cheese and Chive Bread recipe at Washington


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on what cheese you're using)
  •  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (may substitute a pinch of cayenne pepper)   *Ninja Baker note: I added a ¼ teaspoon and loved the kick!
  •   3 large eggs, at room temperature
  •   1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  •   1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  •   1 generous cup (about 4 ounces) coarsely grated Gruyere, Comte Emmental or cheddar cheese
  •   2 ounces Gruyere, Comte, Emmental or cheddar cut into very small cubes (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
  •   1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  •   1 extra cup of grated cheese to sprinkle on top of the muffins before baking


  1. Preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt to taste and the pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl for 1 minute, until foamy, then whisk in the milk and oil.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; use a sturdy flexible spatula or wooden spoon to gently mix together until moistened, then stir in the grated and cubed cheese, the chives and walnuts to form a thick dough.
  5. Divide the batter between the muffin tins lined with cupcake cases. Bake for 26 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes. Et bon appétit!

Wishing you rich rewards from adventuring into the unknown!

The Ninja Baker

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.
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The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.