A traditional Sephardi dish. The Sephardi Jews lived in Spain and Portugal until 1492 when they left to escape Queen Isabella’s auto da fé. Many went to Turkey, where my father’s family originated, welcomed by the Sultan. Muslims and Jews and Christians had lived happily in Spain and Portugal, under Muslim rule. Others went to Greece (Salonika had so many Jews, the city shut down on the Jewish Sabbath and festivals), Italy, southern France and all across North Africa. Some went to The Netherlands, others to the UK – Bevis Marks, in the City of London, is the oldest synagogue and is modelled on the one in Amsterdam.
This recipe was handed down by my paternal grandmother to my father and mother and they handed it down to us. We’ve never had a recipe, we just watched and learnt!
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- Cook the spinach in a large saucepan until it is dark green and wilted. Drain off excess water and cut up roughly with a knife or break up with a fork.
- Add matzo meal, 1 egg and grated cheese. The mixture should present an even blend of yellow and green, flecked with the white matzo meal.
- Add pepper to taste.
- If mixture seems very dry, add more egg. If too wet, add more matzo meal.
- Line baking tray with non-stick greaseproof paper, or – easier – pour in some corn oil and spread with kitchen paper or fingers.
- Spoon into a shallow baking tray and press down with fork or hands so that mixture is about 1 cm thick.
- Sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
- Put in medium oven and cook until surface begins to harden (stage 2), or if for immediate consumption, until cheese is just beginning to brown – approx 20 mins (stage 1).
- For freezing finish at stage 1, allow to cool and put in freezer. Can be cut into squares before freezing but best left whole.
- Unfreeze and when defrosted, return to oven until stage 2.
Hi there, thanks for the recipe – it looks and sounds delicious! However, it doesn’t seem to say how much Matzo Meal is required – do you know the quantities? Thanks