A few months ago, we learned how to make latkes like a Jewish grandma. Now we’re going to move down a generation and you can learn how to make delicious spinach fritters like a Jewish mom, or at least, the way my Jewish mom did.
Here’s the thing about spinach fritters. They’re made out of spinach, which pretty much means that you can eat as many as you want and call it a healthy treat. They’re green, after all. In the scale of healthy, green overrides fried, every single time.
Here’s the other thing about spinach fritters. They don’t sound very appealing. If I had discovered them on my own, in recipe form while browsing blogs or a magazine, I would not have taken the initiative to make them. But I discovered them because they appeared in my house, on a platter next to some potato latkes that my mom made, and from the first bite it was true love. Everyone else who’s tried them has agreed. Initial hesitation is followed by eyes widening in enjoyment, and then reaching for another fritter. They’re delightfully crispy outside, yielding and yummy inside, what’s not to love? And did I mention they’re green? That means healthy!
They’re pretty simple to make. For me, the first step is always finding bulk baby spinach. I like to use at least two pounds of spinach for this, and buying eight pre-packed grocery store bags at $3 each isn’t how I roll. This most recent batch was inspired by spinach for $1/pound at the farmer’s market.
So you start with fresh spinach (I guess you could use frozen and thawed, but I’ve never tried). It gets sauteed it for a few minutes, just until it’s wilted.
Drain it, chop it. Then, stir it into a simple binding mixture: eggs, matzo meal, scallions, cumin, cayenne, and salt.
You’ll form the mixture into little patties and pan-fry them, turning once so you get crispy spinach exteriors.
My mom always served these with potato latkes when she was feeling ambitious in the kitchen. Fortunately for us, that was often. They work well as a side dish for steak, or if you’re like me, as a meal onto themselves. Because they’re green, and therefore healthy – or so I tell myself. Whatever they are, they’re surprisingly delicious.
Recipe: Israeli Spinach Fritters
adapted from Joan Nathan. serves 2-4 as entree, 4-6 as appetizer
1/4c scallion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/3 c matzo meal