Spinach Pesto Cheese Ball

  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings

You can double or triple the recipe and store the extra cheese balls in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic until ready for use. They will keep a week in the refrigerator. Serve with crackers, flat bread, crudites or crostini.

Ingredients

1/2cup pine nuts
Water
1cup frozen chopped spinach
1cup loose-packed fresh basil leaves, trimmed
4ounces parmesan cheese, shredded (1 cup) plus 2 tablespoons, for garnish
2ounces (1/2 cup) Italian shredded cheese blend
1 (8-ounce) package low-fat cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
1teaspoon minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepepr
1/2cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Place pine nuts on a baking dish and toast in oven 6 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and let cool.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chopped spinach and basil leaves and cook 3 minutes until defrosted and tender or place in a microwave-safe dish, lightly cover with plastic wrap and cook on high 2 minutes until defrosted and tender.
  4. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Press to extract excess moisture.
  5. Place spinach, basil, 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded cheese blend, cream cheese, garlic and pepper in a food processor fitted with the metal blade or blender and process or blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  6. Combine 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese, parsley and pine nuts on a plate. Moisten your hands with water and roll cheese mixture into a ball. Roll in nut mixture to coat.  

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 143
  • Fat 11g
  • Saturated Fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 19mg
  • Sodium 303mg
  • Carbohydrate 3g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugars .5g
  • Protein 10g
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