Whenever I find fresh, plump leeks at the vegetable store, I grab a few. Their delicate onion flavor is great in many dishes like soups, quiches, risotto, and especially in these tasty leek and potato patties – again from the fabulous Sephardic kitchen. I’m sure you’ll love them once you’ll make them.
* The original recipe calls for cooking the leeks and potatoes separately, but I’ve found it is easier to cook them together, with a minimal amount of water. This way, the nutrients are not thrown away with the access water, and the leeks’ flavor is more pronounced.
* Half a pound (250 grams) of ground beef can be added to the cooked potato-leek mixture.
* I find the chunky version to be tastier, but if you prefer the patties to be less rustic, process the cooked mixture in a food processor.
Makes: 12 patties
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
3 leeks, white and light green part only, thinly sliced (5 cups)
2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in medium size cubes (2 cups)
1 Tbs salt
2 XL eggs
½ cup flour
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying
1. Prepare the leeks: cut off the dark part (wash and keep for stock), and the root end. Cut the leeks lengthwise and slice. Place a colander in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Mix well, so that the dirt will sink to the bottom. Lift the strainer, get rid of the dirty water and repeat the process until the leeks are clean.
2. Place the diced potatoes and sliced leeks in a shallow pot. Add the salt and just enough water to cover. Cover the pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and keep cooking for 3-4 minutes more, until the potatoes and leeks are soft and the water evaporated. (If the potatoes are still not soft enough, add a bit of boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes more.)
Strain and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher, to a chunky texture. (For smoother texture, use food processor.) Add the eggs, flour, nutmeg and black pepper. Mix and add salt if needed.
3. In a large frying pan, heat oil for shallow frying on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium. Spoon ¼ cup of the mixture into the oil and flatten with the back of a spoon. Fry until golden on both sides. Transfer to a work space layered with paper towels, to absorb excess oil. Serve at room temperature, with a slice of lemon.