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Happy Passover to those clebrating. Check out more Passover recipes here.

See my Seders' Menu below.

Bring the hostages home.

Foodie Lit will return after the Passover holiday.

Keftes de Prassa (Leek Patties)

Leek Patties, or Keftes de Prassa, are a traditional Sephardic part of many Jewish holidays including Passover. Originating in Spain and Portugal, after the Jewish Expulsion from both countries in 1492, Spanish and Portuguese Jews joined other Jewish communities around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, bringing with them Keftes de Prassa.

Keftes can be served an appetizer, a side dish or even main course. I used mushrooms here, but ground beef, lamb or chicken can be used as well. To save time, make the patties night before, refrigerate and cook the next day. The patties freeze well, so make extra for a great lunch to go. Some like them with apple sauce; I liked a squirt of lemon. The crispy outside makes the patties a treat for all.

I love bringing food from other  countries to my table, reminding us that bonds of community are strengthened at meals around the table. At Passover Seders, we think of those who are not in freedom and pray that all held in captivity will soon be freed. I especially think of Kfir Bibas who was kidnapped by Hamas when he was 9 months old. I pray for his and all the hostages speedy liberation and return home.

Keftes de Prassa

Yield 25 patties

2 medium potatoes, peeled or unpeeled

2 tablespoons olive oil or more if needed

2 pounds leeks, rinsed and sliced

6 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or 1 pound ground beef, lamb or chicken

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon celery leaves, finely chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 - 1 cup matzah meal

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 lemon, cut into slices


  1. Thinly slice potatoes. Boil potato slices until easily pierced with fork. Drain and let cool.

  2. Add oil and sliced leeks to a hot skillet over medium heat. Cook until leeks are softened and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove and reserve.

  3. Add mushrooms to pan with no additional oil and sauté until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are slightly browned. Add garlic. Stir a few times in the skillets. Cool.

  4. Pulse leeks a few times in food processor. Add cooled potatoes and pulse until the mixture is coarse. Add mushrooms, parsley and celery leaves and pulse a few more times until mixed. Transfer to a large bowl.

  5. In a small bowl, beat eggs, 1/2 cup matzah meal, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to potato-leek mixture. Add more matzah meal if mixture doesn’t hold together. Cover and let cool in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form patties with your hands, using  2 tablespoons for a side portion or 1 tablespoon for hor d’oevres. Add more matzah meal if needed.

  7. Cover bottom of pan with oil. Turn heat onto medium high. When oil is hot, drop patties into pan, press lightly with spatula to flatten, cooking over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Do not crowd patties in pan. Drain on a plate or pan lined with paper towels. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

  8. If you wish to freeze the cooked patties, cool and then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer. Freezing the patties this wah keeps them nicely separate in a freezer bag. After about 1 hour, place patties in zip lock bag or bags. When ready to serve, reheat in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until hot.

Expandthetable suggestions

Keep it Gluten Free: Use gluten free breadcrumbs

Add meat: Instead of mushrooms, use 1 pound ground beef, lamb or chicken

Not celebrating Passover: Use breadcrumbs instead of matah meal.

#vegetarian, #Passover, #Sephardic

Adapted from Keftes de Prasa recipes by Leah Hadad and by Gil Marks, as printed by Tori Avey

My Seders' Menu

Asparagus Pesto Soup  

Roast Turkey 

Sephardic Sweet and Sour Meatballs (recipe to come!)

Slow Cooked Brisket in Red Wine 

Grilled Vegetables

Cauliflower Deli Kugel

Almond Flour Brownies

Apple Tart with Nut Crust

Boston Cream Pie Bites

Cranberry Pecan Biscotti (recipe to come!)

Passover substitutions included in some recipes.

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