Cockles with Beans & Tatsoi in Garlic BrothFast, easy, and synchronized by lemon. That’s what I’ll call this gorgeous meal.

I adapted the “Cockles with Beans & Cherry Tomatoes in Garlic Broth,” from the August 2015 issue of Food & Wine, swapping in pinto beans for the cranberry beans, tatsoi for the tomatoes, and lemon balm for the tarragon. If you have a source for good fresh cockles (I do), then you’ve got this. These shells are pretty, raw and cooked.

My pinto beans cooked for 55 minutes, until tender. I was in the right place at the right time for beautiful tatsoi, so I added rough chunks of it to the broth, along with 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. At the end, I tossed in a fist full of lemon balm leaves, which are in the mint family, but taste soapy, grassy, lemony (lovely).

Enjoy this great broth, thanks to all the garlic and lemon balm. Speaking of broth…we need some bread, don’t we?

Lemon-Thyme MuffinsA savory muffin fit the bill, for us. I made the “Lemon-Thyme Muffins,” from the October 2015 issue of Cuisine at Home (recipe below), and matched my cockles with these lemony muffins.

Lemon-Thyme Muffins with Gruyère
Cuisine at Home, October 2015
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. minced lemon zest
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup shredded Gruyère

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

Whisk together flour, thyme, zest, baking powder, salt, pepper, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in Gruyère; form a well in the center.

Mix sour cream, oil, and eggs in a measuring cup with a pour spout until eggs are lightly beaten; pour into well of dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

Scoop batter into muffin cups with a generous #20 (1/4 cup) scoop.

Bake muffins until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. When pan is cool enough to handle, turn muffins out of cups onto a rack to cool completely.

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Are you confused by a savory muffin? I was. But here it is, with no sugar. We’ve got thyme and black pepper and Gruyère cheese and olive oil. The muffin was not salty enough for me, but it was certainly great with butter. Gobbled by my diners, for sure.

Dried Pinto Beans (6 oz.) = .96¢
Shallots (2) = .26¢
Cockles (3 lbs.) = $29.97
Sour Cream (1 cup) = $1.84

PREP TIMES: dedicate 90 minutes or so to the prep and cooking of the beans and cockles; the muffins need about 45 minutes
cockles sit in a garlicky lemon broth that’s reinforced by lemon muffins

Next time, allow me to get sidetracked by baked donuts. I’ll play with the “Easy Baked Milk & Cereal Donuts” from The Sugar Hit. See the fun when you come back to my site next week.