When I did my post on packing lunches for toddlers to take to daycare, I mentioned that one of the things I often pack is Spinach-Rice Balls. The recipe was requested, and now, a mere 2+ weeks later, here it is! Enjoy! It’s vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese (which is actually an optional ingredient in the original recipe).
The recipe comes from the fantastic cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. Like every vegetarian, I’m a fan of all of the Moosewood books, but I particularly enjoy this one.
My notes are in [square brackets]
2 lbs. fresh spinach, washed and large stems removed [or use 1 10 oz. box frozen spinach, thawed, with liquid squeezed out]
1 c. chopped scallions
2 t. olive oil
2 c. cooked brown rice [I use a medium- or short-grained rice, which is stickier, so that the balls are easier to form]
2 T. finely chopped fresh dill (2 t. dried)
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
[1 c. or so of cheese (crumbled feta is most fitting with the Greek theme, but I’ve also used shredded cheddar or mozzarella, or whatever other cheese we have around)]
salt and pepper
1 c. bread crumbs [or cracker crumbs]
Steam spinach; drain and chop.
Saute scallions in olive oil until slightly browned.
Combine spinach, scallions, rice, dill, lemon juice, cheese, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly, breaking up the rice grains by mashing them against the sides of the bowl with your mixing spoon. Combine until mixture holds together.
Using damp hands, roll spoonfuls of mixture into bite-sized balls. [Original recipe calls for 1/4 cup-sized balls, but Maddie and Riley found those overwhelming. I go for something larger than a marble, but smaller than a golf ball.] Roll balls in bread crumbs and place on baking sheet–they can be placed very close together.
Bake at 350°F for 20–25 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
These freeze really well.