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The Silver Spoon, Phaidon Press

Serves 6

• generous 1/3 a cup golden raisins
• 2 1/4 pounds spinach
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 1/4 cups milk
• pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
• 4 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
• 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• 3 egg yolks
• olive oil, for brushing
• 1 egg
• 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
• vegetable oil, for deep-frying
• salt and pepper

Put the golden raisins in a bowl, add warm water to cover and let soak.

Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes until tender.

Drain well, squeeze out the excess liquid and chop finely.

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the milk.

Bring Just to a boil, stirring constantly, then season with salt and pepper and add the nutmeg.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the fontina and Parmesan and stir until smooth and creamy.

Stir in the egg yolks, one at a time.

Drain the raisins, squeeze out and add to the mixture with the chopped spinach.

Brush a marble slab or large tray with olive oil, pour the spinach mixture onto it and smooth the surface with a dampened spatula.

Let cool.

Spread out a little flour in a shallow dish, beat the egg in another shallow dish and spread out the bread crumbs in a third.

Cut the cooled spinach mixture into squares and dip first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and, finally, in the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large pan, add the spinach croquettes and cook until golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spatula, drain on paper towels and serve hot.



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