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I love the flavors of spanakopita but rarely make it because it seems like such an undertaking. These spinach-feta patties are my riff on that dish, minus the phyllo but with most of the other ingredients; I know there are dozens of recipes out there for similar patties, but I actually modeled the dish after my salmon cakes. The result was a flavorful and surprisingly filling meal, served here with tri-color orzo but equally delicious with flatbread, in pita bread as a sandwich or even (in smaller portions) as a side dish to accompany roast lamb or chicken. I made a version of tzatziki as a condiment, though I didn’t have any cucumber, so it’s basically garlic-lemon yogurt. Spinach-feta patties are a great way to eat your greens, pleasantly salty from the feta and with so many possibilities for modifications (add pine nuts or almonds for crunch, add couscous, lentils or chickpeas for bulk to make them more burger-like, add diced red peppers for color and sweetness, etc.); I am pretty happy with this recipe and hope you will be, too.

 Spinach-Feta Patties (makes 6 large or 12 small)

  • 1 10 oz. bag or box of frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 green onions, dark parts only, chopped finely
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. panko or fine breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2-3 T. olive oil for cooking

Drain the spinach as well as possible, using a spoon to mash out excess moisture through a colander. Place your drained spinach in a medium-sized bowl and add all the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly until you can form small balls, almost like meatballs, without having them crumble. Refrigerate the spinach mixture for at least an hour for best results. When you’re ready to cook, heat 2 T. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; form your patties and cook them in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, for 5 mins. per side. (Larger patties may take up to 7 mins. per side.) When the patties are slightly crispy and the feta is melting and golden on the sides, remove them from the pan and put them on a plate under a towel or lid to keep warm while you cook any remaining.

Here’s a recipe I like for tzatziki if you’d like to make some; any left over (and there will be, because this makes a ton) can be used as a dip for crudite or with falafel, roasted eggplant and many other dishes.