Spinach and Pistachio Bites

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  36 bites
Prep Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  10 minutes

Spinach and Pistachio Bites

This dish is inspired by Persian pkhali which we rolled into balls, Central Asian-style. The pomegranate seeds may seem like jeweled decoration and they are pretty, but they are also a tart counterpoint that makes these tidbits stand out. This is a terrific appetizer with our pomegranate martini. However you serve it, it promises to be delicious, vegan, and altogether awesome!


2 pounds beet greens or Swiss chard, any variety, stems and hard pieces removed, shredded

1 pound baby spinach, shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or grated on a microplane

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1¾ cup toasted, salted pistachios

½ cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

½ cup roughly chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons pistachio oil or walnut oil

1 teaspoon pomegranate vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or raspberry vinegar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ to 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (pareils)


  1. Wash the beet greens and spinach well, leaving a bit of water on the leaves. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add the beet greens and stir to coat. Add the garlic and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the greens are very wilted and darkened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until spinach exudes liquid and liquid begins to evaporate. Remove from heat and drain. As soon as the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much remaining liquid as possible.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, process the pistachios until crushed, about 1 minute. Add the parsley, cilantro, oil, vinegar, coriander, and black pepper and process for 1 minute. Add the cooked greens and process until thoroughly combined and sticky. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if desired. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until rolling. (The greens may be refrigerated for up to 3 days).
  3. Before serving, dip your hands or wash them in cold water leaving some water on your hands. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the greens into the palm of your hand and squeeze to form a small ball. Place on a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining greens. Do not stack the balls. Generously sprinkle with pomegranate seeds (or roll in the seeds) and serve.

Kitchen Tips

Beet greens are simply the tops of beets. This recipe is a great way to use up the greens and stems from raw beets.

Serve the bites as a topping for crostini and bruschetta or on top of crackers. Make a small well in the center for the pomegranate seeds so they don’t roll off the bread or crackers.

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