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spinach bites

What is a typical Friday night for Husbands That Cook, you ask? Welcome to our comfy home and let us show you around! As we walk through the candlelit house together, you will hear the soothing sounds of Rachmaninoff playing softly in the background. Let us first take you through the kitchen where you will notice the countertops are filled with plates, bowls, food, and drinks. Please excuse the mess as we’ve been cooking the entire day. Would you care for a lemon-thyme drop? Over here, you will find freshly squeezed lemons, bottles of vodka and triple sec, and thyme simple syrup (leftover from our thyme gimlets), for a refreshing new drink we just invented tonight. And if you take a step over here, you will see all the ingredients for our festive burrito night: sautéed green peppers, onions, and mushrooms, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh salsa, diced avocado, spicy refried beans, Mexican rice, and Greek yogurt. And as we make our way down the long narrow kitchen, we come to the final section, where you find a glorious treat: freshly baked spinach bites, hot out of the oven, chock-full of spinach with savory melted pecorino cheese, minced green onions, and spices. Please try one! You’ll notice how delicious they are on their own, but feel free to dip them in the freshly squeezed lemon juice we have here, and notice how perfectly they complement each other. With just six simple ingredients plus a few spices, let us show you how fun and easy they are to make!

This addictive appetizer originally came from Adam’s Aunt Charlene, and it has been pleasing crowds for decades. The recipe uses over a pound of tender spinach, and while the original version calls for parmesan cheese, we upgraded to a boldly-flavored pecorino romano, which adds a deliciously sharp, savory flavor. We also mince four full green onions, from white tip to green tip, so every bite has a sharp zing. And yes, this may call for a stick of butter, but it is divided among 40 servings, and its rich flavor is essential! Made with delicious ingredients, these adorable snacks are so tasty they can be enjoyed on their own without any condiments. That said, a bowl of freshly-squeezed lemon juice adds a bright tartness, and other dips such as tangy dijon mustard or spicy Sriracha ranch make wonderful companions for these delightful treats.

This recipe is a pleasure to make! There is very little prep, a quick 15-minute bake time, and it is so fun to combine the ingredients using your hands! After chopping a couple green onions and grating a little cheese, all the ingredients are mixed by hand in one large bowl, before being formed into round balls and baked in the oven. This recipe makes a whole platter of spinach bites, making it perfect for your next gameday (that’s when you invite friends over to play board games, right?). And if you want to prep these ahead of time, you can refrigerate the uncooked bites, then simply bake them whenever you are ready for a hot, savory, crispy and chewy appetizer that is guaranteed to be the hit of the party.

Spinach Bites
makes about 40

2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 ounces (1 cup) finely grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 green onions, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

To serve, as desired:
freshly-squeezed lemon juice
dijon mustard
sriracha ranch

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and combine them using your hands to evenly mix everything. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls, and place them on the baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with a bowl of fresh lemon juice, as well as any other dips you may enjoy, like dijon mustard or ranch dressing with a bit of sriracha mixed in. Enjoy!

— For the frozen spinach, you have a few options to defrost it: if you plan ahead you can leave the spinach in a bowl in the fridge overnight, or to defrost it quickly, you can use a microwave or place it in a sieve and run warm water over it. However you choose, once the spinach is thawed, it is squeezed until dry which keeps the baked bites from being too wet and falling apart in the oven.