The remembered flavors, colors and aromas of Santa Fe: Blue cornmeal’s grey-blue-lavender shade is mysterious and shadowy, which is somehow the visual counterpart of sage’s haunting aroma. Here, its aroma is subtle and gently enticing, barely noticeable at first. As the muffins cool, it grows more pronounced but not excessive. Sage is much easier to cut with scissors than to mince with a knife. Just stack the sage leaves, scissor once or twice lengthwise, then cut crosswise into tiny ribbons. If blue cornmeal is not available, substitute white or yellow meal. To make vegan buttermilk: Place 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unflavored soymilk in a 2- or 4-cup measuring cup. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice or cider vinegar, and set aside for several minutes.
- 1/2 cup piñon nuts
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 cup stone-ground blue cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 large eggs, or reconstituted egg substitute to equal 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, preferably semirefined
- 1/3 cup mild vegetable oil such as corn, canola or peanut
- 1 to 11 /2 Tbs. julienned fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- Toast piñon nuts by heating in a skillet over medium heat, stirring or shaking pan almost constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. When nuts become aromatic and golden, remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a large bowl, stirring well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and baking soda. Whisk in eggs, sugar, oil and sage.
- Stir combined wet ingredients into dry until mixture is not quite blended. Add piñon nuts with a couple of strokes so the mixture is just barely combined. Spoon into prepared muffin tin.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and caps are high and rounded. Serve hot.
- Serving Size: MAKES 12 MUFFINS
- Calories: 220
- Carbohydrate Content: 27 g
- Cholesterol Content: 35 mg
- Fat Content: 11 g
- Fiber Content: 1 g
- Protein Content: 5 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
- Sodium Content: 320 mg
- Sugar Content: 9 g