Sephardic-Style Leek Patties 10.000

Sarah Meyer Walsh

Sep 12, 2012

Leek patties, or keftas de prasa, are commonplace throughout the Jewish Sephardi world -- in Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and elsewhere. They're popular during Rosh Hashanah and for the Passover Seder. Some versions include meat and others are vegetarian; some add only potato to the mixture, others use bread crumbs or matzo meal for Passover.

Serve the patties with lemon wedges on the side.

Servings: 10 2 1/2-inch patties
  • 6 to 8 leeks (about 2 pounds), white and light-green parts, cut into 1-inch sections
  • 1 large potato, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (optional)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs or matzo meal, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil, for frying
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges


Combine the leeks and potato in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Drain the vegetables in a colander and and let them cool completely.

Transfer the potato to a large bowl and use a fork to mash the potato.

Use your hands to squeeze as much water from the leeks as possible. Transfer them to a food processor or meat grinder and process until finely chopped. Transfer to the bowl with the potato.

Add the ground beef, if using, the eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper; mix well. If the mixture is runny, add bread crumbs as needed. Cover the bowl and transfer it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels.

Pour vegetable oil into a skillet to a depth of 1/8 inch and heat over medium heat. Form the batter into 2- to 2 1/2-inch patties. When the oil is hot, add several patties at a time and fry on both sides until they are golden brown. Transfer the cooked patties to the paper towels to drain. Repeat to use all of the batter.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

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Recipe Source

From Washington caterer Vered Guttman.

Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.

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