I like spinach and I like cheese...and I had a big bag of spinach from Costco to get rid of because I brought it back on the D train in 90 degree weather and it started to wilt, and then when I came home I stuck it in the fridge where it proceeded to freeze halfway...rough life. Anyways, I hate wasting food so I thought that I would come up with something that would use up a large amount of spinach to try and salvage it. I had recently been experimenting with making Kale chips, and so I decided to try and ramp things up a little bit instead of just trying to bake the spinach like kale and see what happens. (Which probably still could've turned out great). These balls are really healthy, easy to make, and are a great snack or appetizer. I had originally called them cheesy spinach balls, but realized things could get weird so I reconsidered and decided to go for a different name. Go with your instincts though, personally I still think cheesy spinach balls has a great ring to it. ANYWAYS these balls are great because they can get pretty crispy on the outside but stay warm and melty on the inside...amazing.
Note: You could probably try these with any kind of cheese as well, now that I think of it...mozzarella or gouda or goat cheese and my mouth has now filled with saliva haha. Next time I will have to experiment with some of these variations.
Baked Spinach Parmesan Bites
Makes about 12 bites
- 6 cups of fresh spinach, packed
- 1/2 cup of parmesan
- Italian seasoning blend
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
Saute spinach in a medium pan with the olive oil over medium heat, and add salt, seasoning and pressed garlic. Continue to heat until all spinach is completely heated through and wilted. Transfer over to a small bowl and drain any remaining water from the spinach mixture (this will allow the balls to stay together and toast faster). Wait a couple of minutes until the spinach cools slightly, and then add in parmesan and mix together. Mold into 12 equally sized "balls" and place on a well greased baking sheet. You may need to use your hands for the step. Bake in the oven at around 300 degrees for 8 minutes, then turn and leave in for about another 4 until toasted from the other side. You may want to increase the temperature on your oven for the last couple of minutes to about 400, depending on how toasted you want them. Let cool a little, and remold if necessary to make the bites regain a little more of a "ball" shape. Dust with additional parmesan before serving if desired. Enjoy, and let me know how it worked out for you!