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Keftes de Espinaca -- this is the closest thing I have found to Croquetas de Espinaca (Spinach Croquettes). A friend brought them over about 6 months ago and have been looking for them ever since. She bought them from a bakery that moved out of town. Even spinach haters can't resist them, especially when they're splashed with a little fresh lemon juice; fresh juice does make a major difference in taste. Onions add a sweet flavor and textural complexity.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 -4 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 2 lbs fresh spinach, stemmed, cooked, chopped, and squeezed dry or 20 ounces thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
- 1 cup matzo meal (or more or less) or 1 cup fine dry breadcrumb
- 3⁄4 teaspoon table salt or 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- vegetable oil (for frying)
- lemon wedge, for serving
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and, if using, the garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the spinach, matza meal, salt, pepper, and, if using, the nutmeg.
- Stir in the eggs.
- If the mixture is too loose, add a little more matza meal.
- The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for a day.
- Shape the spinach mixture into patties 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide, with tapered ends.
- In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat.
- In batches, fry the patties, turning, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- Drain on paper toweling.
- Serve warm, accompanied with lemon wedges.
- Sephardic Spinach Patties with Cheese (Keftes de Espinaca con Queso):
- Add 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Muenster, Swiss, Gouda, or Cheddar cheese; or 1/4 cup grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese.
- Sephardic Spinach Patties with Walnuts (Keftes de Espinaca con Muez): Substitute 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped walnuts for the matza meal.
- *To reheat the spinach patties, place in a large skillet, add 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes.