Leafy Green CHEESE SESAME balls

An Italian flare influenced by a Middle Eastern delicacy during a holiday mingle.
As an appetizer or as part of a meal, these bites are incredibly addictive.

Since most of us have touched upon some holiday shopping one way or another…
I wanted to take this time to highlight the intricate decor that embellishes mall interiors.

Being an Interior designer by no means has me appreciating these impeccable spaces any less.

Knowing what it takes to get from sleepless night ideas to sketching it on paper for proposal…
only skims the tip of the tree and thus so much more gets hashed out before reality.

The incredible reward is witnessing your crumb of an idea…
flourish into such a happy place for all to enjoy.

No matter how advanced in age…the child in me always holds a twinkle in her eye.
The colors…textures…embellishments…and of course…
the whimsy of exaggeration all bring me an unquestionable bliss.
This environment helps kick me into the mood of welcoming the craziness in the malls.

Now, that we've bonded in some cheerful moments…
join me in the kitchen to make these incredibly easy and delectable bites.

In principal, this recipe is very forgiving and open to creativity.
Feel free to substitute a few ingredients for similar choices while respecting quantities.
However, don't omit the Sesame seed which offers a powerhouse of protein and magnesium.
Let's get the food processor out and get pulsing your next appetizer or in my case, a full meal ;o)

Served with an Onion and Blueberry jam and a mashed squash mix on the side.

Leafy Green Cheese Sesame balls
With or without a side dip…these are deliciously inviting.

makes 16-18 small portions

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(American / Metric measures)

. 1 big handful* packed, cooked leafy greens,  water squeezed out  (frozen greens can also be used)
. 3/4 cup (150g) Cottage cheese or Ricotta, well drained
. 1/2 cup (100g) Feta cheese
. 1/4 cup (40g) Parmesan cheese, grated
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) Tomato paste
. 1 xLarge egg

    . 1 tsp. (5ml) granulated garlic powder   
    . 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) sea salt
    . 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) dried basil
    . 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) dried Marjoram

. small handful flat parsley leaves (optional)
. 1 cup (80g) dried breadcrumb, packed

. 1/4 cup (60ml) e.v.Olive oil
. 1 cup (150g) Sesame seeds (lightly toasted** is optional)

* About 1 bunch of fresh leafy greens such as: Broccoli Rabe, Spinach or any other of your choosing.
** Stovetop Toasting :  Heat the sesame seeds in a pan on over medium heat.  Toss them a few times until they start getting lightly golden.  Remove immediately and let them cool in a dish.


1. Once the leafy greens have been completely squeezed of water, add them into a food processor.
2. Then, except for the breadcrumbs, add the remaining ingredients.  Pulse a few more times until a rough paste is combined.  Now, scoop out this mix into a bowl in order to integrate the breadcrumbs until well combined.
3. Pat down the mix and then cover with a plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour up to overnight.

Step- 2 ... Later:
. Pre-heat the oven at 400F/200C/Gas6.  Position the rack in the center of the oven.   Prepare a large, Silicon mat lined baking pan or simply line with parchment paper.
4. With the aid of a medium (2 Tbsps. / #30) ice-cream scoop, make packed and leveled portions.  Gently, extract each onto the pan.
5. Prepare two small bowls to hold the oil and the other for the Sesame seeds.  Then, gently coat one ball  at the time into the oil first and then into the seeds.  Place them back on the pan.
6. BAKE them for 20 minutes.  Close the heat and leave them there for another 5 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and let them rest on the pan for about 30 minutes before serving.
. Serve them plain, with your dip of choice or other complementary sides.
. These can be made ahead of time and baked later as well as to be frozen after baking for later warming.

I have to admit that this year for some reason I felt the need to express more joyful cheer than usual.  With so many unfortunate events hitting us from all ends, we need to keep reminding ourselves of the tiny moments of joy. 

After a few bites of these appetizers and a trip to the mall to appreciate their dedicated decor…you'll temporarily forget that you're there for the craziness that holiday shopping imposes.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.