Boy do I love zucchini. How I could go a year of food writing without posting a recipe of Kolokithokeftedes is beyond me. I blame all of you (and thank you) for sending me off on many food tangents through this blog’s year of existence.
I’m in love with food, my blog, reading my friends’ blogs daily and being the lifelong student – always willing to learn new things.
I find inspiration and sometimes crave to eat the same dishes as my food blogging friends. Maria from Organically Cooked just posted her Courgette Patties recipe and I had my on making my own batch too!
For those not familiar with Maria, she’s a New Zealand-raised Greek who’s moved back to Crete, lives with her husband and children in Hania and she shares her thoughts, offers a window on Cretan life and shares her kitchen creations with us. I encourage you to pay a visit to her blog.
Kolokithokeftedes are translated from Greek to English as Zucchini Meatballs. These are also known as fritters, rissoles or patties. Call it what you want, they make for a vegetarian main, a tasty snack and one of my favourite Greek mezedes.
There are many varying recipes for this dish but I think the key to Kolokithokeftedes’ success is getting the mixture to bind properly. This in turn relies heavily upon your ability to leech and squeeze out as much liquid from the grated zucchini as possible.
The second point I’d like to make is that the amount of bread crumb in this recipe is approximate. Again, the amount will depend on how much liquid you squeezed out of your zucchini that will be needed to bind your mixture.
Thirdly, I have kolokithokeftedes with and without cheese and naturally, I prefer version with cheese. Usually, grated Kefalotyri is used here but I also added some grated Smoked Metsovone…a winning combo.
Finally, allow me to share the spotlight with Val from More Than Burnt Toast who recently shared a Cat Cora recipe of Tzatziki with avocado. It made for a wonderful accompaniment to the Kolokithokeftedes and if you’re looking for a neat twist on Tzatziki, Pete says go for it!
(makes a dozen)
2 whole zucchinis, washed and grated (or 1 cup squeezed of water)
1 small onion, diced olive oil
1 scallion or 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Kefalotyri
1/4 cup grated smoked Metsovone
salt and pepper to taste
all-purpose flour for dredging
vegetable oil for frying
- Using your box grater (largest holes), grate your zucchini into a mesh strainer and sprinkle some coarse sea salt over top. Allow the liquid from the zucchini to leach for a couple of hours. Using a cheese cloth or tea towel, place the grated zucchini inside and twist and turn the tea towel to help squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Dump the zucchini in a bowl and reserve.
- In a skillet, add some olive oil and add your onions and a pinch of salt and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are softened. Set aside to cool.
- Add your remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix to incorporate. Fry-off a small meatball to taste-test your mixture. Adjust ingredient amounts remedy any binding problems or rectify taste. Roll the mixture into tight balls and then flatten into patties.
- In a non-stick skillet, add enough vegetable oil to reach 1/2 inch in height. Your oil should be approx 360F to fry.
- Just when you’re ready to fry, lightly dredge your Kolokithokeftdes and deep fry in batches. Fry on each side until golden brown (2 minutes a side) and reserve on a plate lined with paper towel.
- Serve warm or room temperature with some Tzatziki sauce on the side.
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