Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vegetarian Spinach 'Meatballs' for Adults

The kids really enjoyed the spinach 'meatballs'  I made last week. After a few bbq's and picknicks at which they chose to eat the meats and pasta's while carefully getting rid of all the vegetables, they could use some veggies again. Since it was a big hit with the kids last week I decided to make the spinach balls again today. So the youngest one had a feast and the oldest bravely ate one ball to be as strong as Mega-Toby (a superhero from the Belgium children's production Mega Mindy).

Although I liked them too, I wanted to give them a little bit of a spicy twist! So while the children had the original ones, I made a spicy version for us. Without nutmeg, but with homemade chiliflakes (dried chilipeppers from our garden), fresh cilantro (from the supermarket, because the one in our garden had a heat stroke which it didn't survive), and some lemonzest. Which made it a little less heavy, more fresh but also nice and spicy. Next time, I think I'll try to substitute the parmezan for feta or another lighter cheese, ideas are welcome!

Vegetarian Spinach 'Meatballs' for Adults
Inspired by:
Eerlijk Italiaans, pg 24
Author: Antonio Carluccio

Ingredients for 4p:
500g fresh spinach
2 eggs
fresh cilantro (leaves and stalk)
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
5-6 slices of bread without the crust (this time I used whole-wheat)
50g of grated parmezan (feta, another lighter cheese?)
50ml of olive oil
salt & pepper

Wash the spinach, boil it in lightly salted water for 1-2 minutes, drain and cool it. Squeeze the spinach untill you cannot get anymore fluid out of it.
Finely cut the leaves and put it in a big bowl. Loosely beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the spinach afterwards. Finely cut the garlic add a tiny bit of salt and rub the garlic into a paste. Finely chop the cilantro. Pull the bread into fine pieces. Add all of this and the parmezan, lemonzest, some salt & pepper. Mix and make balls from the mixture. (NB, if it is too wet you can add the extra bread)
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the balls and gently fry them golden brown in 4-5 minutes each side. Take out and leave to rest on kitchen paper. Serve them hot or cold. Serve as an appetizer or combine with a pastadish, a ricedish or any other dish.

Score: 3 out of 5
Tip: Easy to make as a spicy variation while you make the original
Spinach 'Meatballs' for the children. Try it with other cheeses to perfect these balls, and please let me know!
Time: 20-30 minutes
Amount of work vs waiting: High
Degree of difficulty: Medium
Ideal for: Spicy variant of kid's favorite, appetizer, vegetarian dinner

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