Keftes d'Prassa~Sephardic Leek Patties


from Cooking for The by Renee Chernin

Kefte de Prassa, or  kyeftes, keftedes, kifticas, either way you say it, Sephardic Leek Patties come with a warning: addictive.

Leeks are traditionally served this way in Sephardic homes as a tradition for Passover as a sign of Spring and on Rosh Hashanna as a "siman" a sign to Hashem. And since they are lightly fried, they are perfect if you'd like a Sephardic twist on Hanukkah latkes.

Of course they are most delicious when served right away but that's usually just the cook's reward since they are perfect to make ahead and freeze. Then it's a chinch to place them  on the blech to warm. Serve simply with a spritz of lemon to brighten the taste. It's our tradition to celebrate Rosh Hashanna and Pesach with Keftes d'Prassa baked in the optional tomato-lemon sauce


5 large leeks, white parts only, washed well and chopped (discard tough green stalks)
5 matzos
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, garlic
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Optional Sauce:
1 (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Place leeks in a soup pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Drain well. Gently squeeze out excess water. (I sometimes save the cooking broth for soup stock)

In a medium bowl, break matzos into large pieces. Soak in warm water 5 to 10 minutes until soft but not mushy. Gently squeeze excess water from matzo.

In another, large bowl, beat eggs with salt, pepper and garlic. Add leeks and matzo. Mix to combine. Stir in matzo meal or water as needed to achieve a consistency that holds together loosely.

Pour matzo meal into a pie plate. Using about 2 tablespoons of the leek mixture, shape leek into 1/2” thick patties. Dredge patties in matzo meal.

Pour enough oil into a medium skillet to coat the bottom. Heat to medium high. Gently place patties in hot oil and brown 3-5 minutes per side or until golden. Work in batches, do not overcrowd the pan and add more oil to skillet as needed. Remove to a 13 x 9 inch-baking pan. (At this point you can freeze the keftes. When solid, place in a plastic freezer bag and label. Will keep for a month in the freezer)

Serve warm or room temperature with a squeeze of fresh lemon. OR: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together tomato sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over Sephardic leek patties in baking pan. Cover pan with foil. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven.


Yield: Makes: 10-12 servings ~ Can make ahead ~ Can freeze
Active time: 1 hour ~ Cooking time: 50 minutes

Recipes: Side Dishes, Leeks, Vegetable, Parve, Kosher

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