I promise you guys a two-week moratorium on appetizers after this.
Wait. Is that a reward or a punishment? Either way, you get two weeks of full-on meals and/or desserts with no hands or toothpicks required. But not until we talk about these pizza bites. I can do no justice to how easy and tasty these are – if you haven’t planned your Super Bowl menu and need a quick starter, or if you need something to bring last-minute to a cocktail party, these are your jam. First – you probably have all the ingredients already. Second – they’re adorable. Third – PIZZA BITES. There’s cheese and seasonings and you dip them in marinara. Are you in?
I’m in. Especially because, like I said, I don’t much care about the outcome of the Super Bowl this year. I’m an East Coaster from a state where pot is illegal – so, not really this year’s target audience. I’ll be watching, of course, but my main focus will be eating these (among other things – we’re doing calzones, so look out for those on a blog near you) accompanied by an elastic waistband and maybe a beer or two.
Once again, I can’t stress enough how easy these are. It’s basically like making a savory pancake batter and stirring in cheese and pizza toppings (in this case, spinach and mushrooms), before baking for 20 minutes in a mini muffin tin. The whole shebang took me under 40 minutes, and then I popped them in the freezer for Sunday (after getting some pictures and, of course, sampling a few). They’re also incredibly versatile (non-vegetarians can use the pepperoni from the original recipe, or you can sub in bell peppers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes – anything). I’m now officially ready for some football.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 1 handful baby spinach, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Marinara sauce for dipping
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, and parsley. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and saute until mushrooms begin to release liquid, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted and garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat.
- Add egg, milk and cheese to the flour mixture and stir gently just to combine. Stir in mushroom/spinach mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Gently stir the batter. Divide evenly between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until set and browned on top.
- Serve warm with warm marinara.
Source: Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine