Baked Kolokithokeftedes (Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες στο φούρνο)Jul 6th, 2010 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Appetizer, Baking, Cheese, Featured, Greek, Herbs, Meze
That mouthful of a Greek word you see in the title of this post is compound word: “Kolokitho” refers to zucchini/courgettes and “keftedes” are a burger-like patty. What we’re talking about here are these light and delicious zucchini patties. Many people’s gardens are brimming with zucchini or they will be soon. Grated zucchini, chopped fresh herbs in the garden, flavourful Greek cheeses and and some binder and off they go to be cooked.
Traditionally, Kolokithokeftedes have been fried but as of late, I have (as well as many other Greeks) have been looking to make this dish a little healthier by baking these in the oven rather than frying. The other benefit to this approach is that you save on the oil by not frying. The oven method also leaves less of a mess in the kitchen and from grating the zucchini to eating the patties – the oven method is quicker.
The baked Kolokitholeftedes are moist inside with evidence of gooey cheese inside, just as herbaceous and the fried version and the outside of the patties still develop a golden-brown crust – giving you that flavour and textural contrast. I think I’m going to bake my Kolokithokeftedes from now on. You may opt to still fry them but try the baked method and then decide for yourself. My first foray into baking these occurred this past winter, making Pumpkin Fritters. I was sold immediately with the results.
Before we get on with the recipe, I want to discuss the cheeses in the filling. In the fried recipe I used smoked cheeses, I do like using Feta, Graviera or even Halloumi! Use the cheeses you like. The combo or use of cheeses could depend on your mood or your budget or perhaps you have some odds & ends leftover in your fridge’s cheese drawer. If you want that authentic Greek flavour but have a hard time sourcing some of the Greek cheeses I mention, Christos Marketplace will mail-order Greek cheeses to anywhere in the US.
Baked Kolokithokeftedes (Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες στο φούρνο)
2-3 zucchinis, rinsed and ends removed
(or approx. 1 cup when squeezed of water)
1 bunch (5-6) of scallions (or 1 large onion, diced)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (1 Tbsp. if dry)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley
1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (not dry)
1/4 cup Graviera cheese
1/2 cup of Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
olive oil for brushing/greasing pan
Pre-heated 425F oven
- Rinse your zucchinis well and snip the ends off. Grate the zucchinis through the large whole of your box grater and place in a colander (with a bowl underneath). Sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands and then place handfuls of the grated zucchini in a tea towel and ring out as much water as you can. Place in large bowl and repeat with remaining grated zucchini.
- In a small skillet, add a couple of turns of olive oil add your scallions and garlic into a skillet over medium heat. Sweat the scallions & garlic for about 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool before adding into the bowl with the zucchini
- Add the cooled scallion mixture,beaten egg, chopped herbs, breadcrumbs*, crumbled Feta , grated Graviera, black pepper and mix with a spatula. If the mixture is too coarse, get your hands in there and mix them well. If the mixture is too dry, add a little olive oil and if the mixture is too wet, add some bread crumbs. Mix again.
- Grab a small handful of the zucchini mixture in your hand and roll into a ball and then flatten into a patty (you may at this stage fry-off a small pattie to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking).Place the patty on a baking tray that’s been greased with olive oil. Make the remaining mixture into patties.
- Brush the tops of the patties with olive oil and set the back rack to the third position from the top of the oven. Place the baking tray in your pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Flip the patties and bake for another 8 minutes.
- Serve warm with a cool dipping sauce: Take some Feta cheese and mash it with a fork and then add some Greek yogurt, a little bit of water or vegetable stock, some minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of paprika.
NOTE: * for the breadcrumbs, place some crustless bread in a food processor/blender and pulse until you have crumbs.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis
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© 2010 – 2013, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.