Spinach Fritters

In the early 80’s I had the chance to visit Rome to attend a United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture. I stayed at a Pensione not too far from the Vatican.  The owner of the place was a nice old man who went out of his way to brief me on the most efficient way to navigate the city by train and to arrange for my day trip to Florence.  But what I remember most about this man was the welcome dinner that he prepared for me and the other Pensione guests one night.  It was complete with home-made pasta with an appetizer called Frittelle de Spinaci, or Spinach Fritters.  I may never be able to duplicate that delicious appetizer, but I manage to prepare a simpler version of this dish, using packaged baby spinach from my favorite supermarket .  True Italian cooks will insist on using mature spinach which has, as one blogger puts it, “true dimension of flavor, more color and nutrients.”

INGREDIENTS

6 oz baby spinach

1 cup olive oil

1 cup corn starch

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tbsp  lime  juice

2 pcs green chilli pepper

1 tsp brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

Soak the spinach in 3 cups ice cold water for about 15 minutes

Drain and pat dry the leaves with paper towel

In a mixing bowl, combine the corn starch, flour, 2 cups water, egg and 1/2 tsp pepper. Whisk

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan

Dip the spinach into the batter and fry  in bunches until crispy

Place fried spinach on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil

Combine soy sauce, lime juice, sugar! chilli pepper and  brown sugar to make the dipping sauce

(Makes  10-12 servings)

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