Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mini Vacation and Mini Spinach Cakes

This weekend we went away to Washington, D.C. to visit friends.  We had a wonderful time gaping at dinosaur bones, standing in spacecraft, taking a tour that broke down half way through, playing in two fountains, sunning ourselves at the playgound, and riding the Metro.  It was the sort of three day weekend that makes you wonder why you don't take more three day weekends.  When we got back, our CSA box was waiting at our neighbor's house.  We'd begged her to help herself to the bounty of greens, but alas! she did not.  This weeks' catch: 4 heads of lettuce, 1 pound of spinach, a half pound each of collard and kale, 1/2 pound of arugula, 2 bunches of radishes, and a bok choy.

So I've been cooking like a madwoman.  Last night I roasted radishes, some of which I slipped into Ian's lunchbox this morning (lo! they were eaten!), and made chickpeas and collards (a variation on this dish), while Steve made a tortilla with the kale.  Tonight, I made these little spinach cakes, which I've been meaning to try for some time.  The things I'm making this week have to be freeze-able because we got home too late to cook and eat on Monday, we're dining out tomorrow for our anniversary (is it sick that I almost want to stay home and eat salad?), and on Friday I'm hosting a barbecue at work for the summer research students, which means three days we're not chipping away at the green mountain.

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I think I may need to learn how to put up my own vegetables this summer.

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

12 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.

Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).  Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.
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