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Lord of Spinach-Cheese Rings make a handy hobbit menu

Thursday, January 02, 2003

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

When the recipe for Lord of the Spinach-Cheese Rings came across our desk from the American Dairy Association, we just had to make it.


Not only are we Tolkien fans, but we're lovers of melted cheese on just about anything -- in this case a bagel with a spinach and onion filling.

If you have little hobbits about the house, this tasty sandwich will be a great way to slip in calcium and iron. Kick up the nutritional value even more by using whole wheat bagels and a tomato slice on top of the cheese.

The rings were delicious and filling on their own. But you might want to add tomato soup or applesauce on the side, depending on your family's appetites.

Although the directions said 15 minutes for prep and 10 minutes for baking, it was 35 minutes before the rings hit the table, even though we used time-saving shortcuts, such as grating the onion, scissor-cutting the spinach and using already shredded cheeses. Hollowing out eight bagel halves took longer than we thought.

Lord of the Spinach-Cheese Rings might be just the thing to serve after coming home from "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."

Lord of the Spinach-Cheese Rings

  • 4 day-old bagels
  • 4 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 generous cup shredded provolone cheese
  • 1 generous cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced (we grated it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Split bagels in half. With a grapefruit spoon or knife, hollow out some of the bread. Throw the crumbs to the birds.

Place spinach and onion in microwavable bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain well.

Combine spinach, cheeses and seasonings. Place bagels on foil-lined baking sheet. Put about 1/4 cup spinach-cheese mixture on each bagel half. Bake until cheese has melted and edges are lightly toasted, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Serves 4.

Adapted from the American Dairy Association

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes, and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number.

Or send e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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