A Love Affair

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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
1/4 cup grated
smoked Metsovone
salt and pepper to taste
all-purpose flour for dredging

vegetable oil for frying

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a non-stick skillet, add enough vegetable oil to reach 1/2 inch in height. Your oil should be approx 360F to fry.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature with some Tzatziki sauce on the side.

© 2008 – 2010,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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58 Comments for “A Love Affair”



I love your header, it is so original and fun!
Your kolokithukeftedes(I had to go back to your post to check on this spelling quite often, but I’m glad to learn!)…looks delicious. It will definitely be made soon.



and there I see I did make a miste after all! Kolokithokeftedes. There you go.



Dear Peter love zuchinni too!! love this recipes (I never told you but hubby is from Libanese family so sometimes I find here similar recipes) but yours are most yummy!!!!I was thinking to make zucchini because still we have (Autumn) in summer I cook always. Good recipe.xxGloria

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining


Thank You…you are definitely helping me get rid of that huge box of zucchini I bought! Looks like it will go well with dinner tonight!!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen


I love love love Zucchini Fritters! They are so great – just wonderful. Peter, you have officially made me take my lunch break now!

Congrats also on your Foodbuzz winnings! Awesome job!



Zucchini fritters are one of my favorite things!! OMG and with that avocado tzatziki (how innovative!), poi-fect! Just poi-fect. :D



When I think zucchinis the first thing that comes to mind is ‘zucchini chocolate cake’. So moist and good. Our cultures are so different. We don’t make Kolokithokeftedes. Looking at the recipe this is something I would eat.



Finally some real savory food today!To much cakes. These look so tasty. And I love fries and cheese, so togeher yes. I would forgoe a burger for this!

Sam Sotiropoulos


Yes, yes, and yes! I completely sympathize with your love of zucchini . In fact, I have a few zucchini in the fridge right now which I was going to make into fritters in the next couple days, so we must be on a similar wavelength. Very nice work!

Laurie Constantino


I do love Zucchini Fritters! A summer highlight for us. Maria at OrganicallyCooked also just posted a great Zucchini Fritter recipe – it must be in the air!



Yum! I love zucchini and this is the perfect time for you to post this recipe.

Congrats on your Foodbuzz win! You deserve it! :)

Peter M


Ronell, thank you for dropping by and for your kind words. I’ve added your blog to my reader and I’ll be in your French Kitchen often.

Gloria, if you made this for your Lebanese hubby, he would adore this and you even more!

Lulu, the cheese gives it that “somethin-somethin”!

Judy, really? I’m not so sure you can break away from the pool! lol

Jenn, don’t rush those fritters now…let the water leech out. Thanks about Foodbuzz, it was a pleasant surprise.

Nikki, my mom even dug these and she’s a stubborn one!

Helene, I can see the this being enjoyed in Provence.

Glam, indeed…Opera cake overload! lol

Sam, zucchini seem to always be in our fridge, love’em, luv’em, love them!

Laurie, how can anyone be hatin’ these? I saw Maria’s entry on them and I left her a note as well.



mm looks so good, I am still too afraid to deep fry at home (damn fear of fire) but I bet I could make a pan fried version that would be good too…



Peter, how could you make those without inviting me round for dinner. They look like they’d be well worth a seven hour flight!



Peter they look sooooo yummy.
Your photos are, as always, excellent! I have never seen Metsovone cheese in our shops sadly.



Hi Peter, I absolutely love zucchini (or courgettes as I know them!)and I totally agree with you about the inclusion of cheese – always a winner!

Food blogging is amazing isn’t it? I love the way I think about food even more than I ever thought possible and, like you say, going off on tangents all the time is brilliant!

Bellini Valli


I am going to love these Peter. I have a recipe from Aglaia for Domatokeftedes that I still have yet to try…I love the vegetarian versions:D

Sandie (Inn Cuisine)


I knew it was wrong to look at your blog before dinner. How do I love zucchini? Let me count the ways: in bread, grilled, stir-fried, steamed… Should I go on?

By the way, I made Val’s recipe (or should I say Cat Cora’s?) It was yummy delish. Can’t wait to try it with these fritters. What a treat!



You had me at zucchini meatball.

Being that I live in the middle of nowhere, would it be better to leave the cheese out? or can you suggest a more readily available cheese instead?



I don’t think I have encountered a vegetarian fritter I didn’t enjoy. Great recipe Peter. You may not be a vegetarian, but I’d love to have dinner at your house. A damn fine meal it would be.



Zucchinis are one of my favorite vegetables as well. And I really like making zucchini fritters. I like the sound of serving them with Tzatziki.

Lori Lynn


Hi Peter – congrats on the Foodbuzz Traffic Challenge!

I’m so glad you halved them for the second photo, makes it even more scrumptious looking with that lovely bright green zucchini.

We Are Never Full


I was gonna say they looked like zucchini fritters but zucchini meatballs is so much sexier. these really look awesome.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)


I’m bookmarking this recipe for zucchini season! My vegetarian granddaughters will love these fritters.

Proud Italian Cook


I have 6 zucchini in my frig right now just waiting to turn into your fritters!!

Peter M


Christine, thank you so much…it made my day.

Katerina, you should do fine here, it’s shallow frying, no more than 1/2 inch.

Sylvie, do I get a Sauerbraten meal in return?

Jan, ask if there are any other smoked cheeses, they should do.

Helen, I’m thoroughly hooked, glad to be part of a wonderful community.

Val, I’ve got tomatokeftedes in the works too…it’s in the works.

Sandie, glad you liked too, I enjoyed it.

Mary, use any other smoked cheese you can find…gouda, gruyere come to mind.

Lisa, you’re more than welcome when you’re in TO, I can whip up a herbivore meal for ya.

Kevin, you’re the Jack of all Cuisines…very capable!

Lori Lynn, thank you….I was in good company too and I have my readers to thank.

Jen, zucchini’s come of age.

Never Full, call’em what you want, just not souvlaki! lol

Marie, that’ll make a big tray of them….fry in batches, keep warm in the oven and then watch them get devoured!

Lydia, I’m a meat-eater and I still love’em.



This looks fabulous. I love making vegetable pancakes or “meatballs” as you call them. The combination of herbs with the zucchini in this dish truly makes it stand out.



Man! I want to come over for an appetizer party at your house. How do you make such amazing dishes and with such frequency? When do you work?



These looks gorgeous Peter, I haven’t had them before, but I can tell they would be delicious. I think I would have to substitute the cheese for something else. I am thinking that mozzarella would go all gooey or cheddar & parmesan for flavour.

Congratulations on the win, although I don’t know what it is all about!



Mmmm – the gorgeous colour on these patties has me drooling… then the shot of the broken open one lets me see how gorgeous and green (really clean-coloured – does that make sense?) they still are inside!

Definitely one for me to try before I revert my broken deep fryer to a pressure cooker ;)



What great photographs! The zucchini is killing me…it looks so good!

Patricia Scarpin


When I saw the photo, I thought “falafels” (which I deeply love). These would easily become favorites of mine too, Peter!



Man – these look incredible!

Recipe is saved and awaiting the glut of zucchini that will be occuring later this summer. My wife already has independent avocado and Tzatziki addictions, so we’ll definitely be making some of that…

Can’t believe I just found your blog – great writing and everything looks fantastic.



Patrioth, you’re a hero! Kolokithokeftedes look fine indeed. I’m cooking them tonight.


Peter M


Pete, the avocado Tzatziki was a pleasant surprise.

Kat, an abundance of zucchini is a good thing!

Panda, I think I’ll make another batch of these this weekend…then I’ll get sick of them! lol

Nicole, I find & make time to cook…my therapy.

Heather, stop cleaning your keyboard while KHUGIYGTYRYTFTYG!

Holler, mozzarella would be just fine.

Kittie, that last pick was the clincher for me too.

Hugging, who’d thunk zucchini would evoke such emotion?

Patricia, no offense to falafel but they pale in comparison.

Andrew, welcome and thanks for your kind thoughts. See you again soon!

Geia sou Mitso…how’s Mykono?

Susan from Food Blogga


My mom used to make something just like these and we called them zucchini cakes. (really original, huh?) They are addictive, I tell you. ANd I can’t wait for zucchini season to get my fill.



I love these – culturally we’re really not too far apart – except we call these something else. Same idea. We also make them out of cauliflower and they’re a treat too.



Me encantan los calabacines! Which means: I love zucchinis! I think that my very first blog recipe was a zucchini puree… by then I didn’t know they were called this way, looked up in the dictionary and it said marrow… so I made a marrow’s cream. Lately, I noted that marrow also means the spinal liquid… OMG!

Your fritters have inspired me :D
Congrats on your 1 year blogging Chico ♥



Great twist on tzatziki and these courgette fritters look the business. Had griddled courgettes last night, but wish I’d spotted this before as it would have been much more exciting. Much as I try, I just can’t call them zucchini – hope you’ll forgive me!

White On Rice Couple


We love your, your food and your blog too Peter! Love the zucchini too. We would love to grow it, but have no more space in the garden!

Peter M


Ruth, they are wonderful appetizers.

Susan, whatever they are called, simply delish!

Giz, many takes on Mediterranean ingredients, all lovely.

Nuria…I hope to see some zucchini dishes from you and your Catalan twists!

Antonia, you may certainly call them courgettes, it’s a matter of habit.

Wite Rice duo, zucchini do take up alot of garden space…lots for you to have at the local market…and thank you!



Live the idea of putting mint in them… I have 2 recipes for ‘courgette cakes’… Now I have 3! I just have to wait a few more weeks for the courgettes…

Mansi Desai


Peter! these look fabulous! kid of like indian cutlets, but I soooo loved the flavors in here, and thanks for introducing a dumbwit like me to those wonderful cheeses:) I am so gonna try this, if I can find that cheese! this is the only way I’ll prob eat zuchhini!:D

bw, it’d be great if you could send these in for my monthly Mingle featuring veggie appetizers!:)



You got two recipes together that I love, the pumpkin patties and this tzatziki recipe that I will have to take a look at… :-)


[…] For just two Euros, a vegetarian in Athens can walk away with one of these amazing pita sandwiches. It’s a feast of zucchini fritters (kolokithokeftedes in Greek), french fries, tomato, red onion, tzatziki (creamy yogurt sauce), fresh parsley and a dash of paprika stuffed into a fresh baked pita. Delicious! Greek Food and Beyond […]

Maria me ta kitrina


They came out delicious. Crispy on the outside, and gooey cheesy on the inside. The flavor is spot on!


[…] For just two Euros, a vegetarian in Athens can walk away with one of these amazing pita sandwiches. It’s a feast of zucchini fritters (kolokithokeftedes in Greek), french fries, tomato, red onion, tzatziki (creamy yogurt sauce), fresh parsley and a dash of paprika stuffed into a fresh baked pita. Delicious! Greek Food and Beyond […]