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Zucchini-Lime Muffins with Pine Nuts

The French really have a thing for zucchini. Huge amounts of real estate in any grocer or market are devoted to the long, green squash, and nearly every basket I see at the checkout counter has a plastic sack of zucchini in there, sandwiched between the 24-packs of yogurt and bottles of red wine.

What was everyone making with the zucchini, I wondered? Enormous vats of ratatouille? Stuffing them with the strange-looking prepared veal mixture at the butcher’s? Putting them in quiches?

Probably all three, I figured, since these seem to be the things that I often see in the French cooking magazines.

I love my zucchini grilled, but alas…that cannot be, as I’ve mentioned a hundred times before. So, I started thinking about what I could do with zucchini, since it’s so abundant, and relatively inexpensive.

It wasn’t long until muffins popped into my head.

I found a recipe on Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes blog and decided to Cowgirl-ify it a bit, by adding lime and lime zest and my favorite little nut, the pinon, which I toasted. I cut back on the cinnamon and nutmeg, too, so the lime flavor could come through.

See what you think. I’m off to the store to buy some more zucchini.

Zucchini-Lime Muffins with Pine Nuts
adapted from Simply Recipes

2 large eggs
1 ⅓ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 limes
⅔ cup butter, melted
3 cups zucchini, grated
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

1. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla.

2. Add the juice of two limes, plus the zest, along with the zucchini and melted butter, and mix well.

3. Add dry ingredients — flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon — and stir to combine. Fold in pine nuts.

4. Scoop into lined muffin pans; bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen muffins.