Meat patties extended with cooked vegetables are common on the Sephardic table. The classic combination of leeks and meat is associated with Izmir, and of spinach and meat with Salonika. The mixture may be thickened with fresh bread crumbs or with mashed potatoes.
Cut away the root ends from the leeks and most of the green and discard. Peel away loose layers, cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into
In a bowl, combine the leeks, meat, bread or mashed potatoes, egg yolks, and the cinnamon, walnuts, or dill and chopped eggs, if using. Add the salt and pepper, then knead with your hands until the mixture holds together well. Form into balls about
Pour olive oil to a depth of
For albóndigas de espinaka(spinach meatballs), use 3 pounds spinach, wilted, drained, squeezed dry, and finely chopped, in place of the leeks. Use the bread instead of potatoes. Roll the meatballs in the matzoh meal or flour, let stand briefly, and then roll them again in the meal or flour. They are fairly moist, and this will make it easier to brown them. Fry as directed.
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.