Cheesy Spinach Puffs
Moist, spinach-studded, cheese and egg puffs get toasty, crispy bits around the edges and taste great alone, but really sing when dunked in warm marinara or pizza sauce. This is a favorite movie-night snack at our house and has won over even the most ardent anti-green vegetable protesters in our family. The smaller you chop the spinach after squeezing it dry, the easier it is to get it past picky eaters.
4 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped or grated on a cheese grater
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1 c. ricotta cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
½ c. Italian style breadcrumbs
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible
½ t. salt
Optional: warm marinara or pizza sauce for dipping
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously spray 48 mini-muffin wells with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan or frying pan. Stir in the grated or finely chopped onion and cook on low, stirring frequently, until the onions are very tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove the pan from the burner and set aside.
Put the squeezed-dry spinach on a cutting board and chop a few times with a knife to separate the spinach and make the pieces smaller.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Whisk in the ricotta cheese until smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon, add the remaining ingredients — including the cooked onion mixture and the chopped spinach — and mix until evenly combined.
Divide the mixture between the mini-muffin cups. Bake the puffs until set in the center and lightly browned around the outside edge. Let them rest in the pans for about 3 minutes before trying to remove. If any of them stick, run a butter knife around the edge to loosen them.
Serve warm or room temperature with marinara or pizza sauce.