Kolokythokeftedes (pr. ko-lo-kee-tho-ke-FTE-thes) are one of the best mezedes (or appetizers) you can find in any Greek taverna during summer.
They are fried patties or fritters made of grated courgettes (zucchini), (called kolokythia, in Greek), but any other squash can also be used as well. Aromatic herbs, such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc., are used, depending on preference, cheese, usually feta, flour, (or bread crumbs, bulgur, or quinoa) and eggs are added to bind the mixture together.
The amount of flour required will vary according to the moisture left in the zucchini so make sure that you squeeze out most of the water.
These delicious morsels are perfect for a pre-dinner snack (mezes pl. mezedes, as we call them in Greek) or light lunch with a salad.
They are shaped into patties by hand but today I am going to shape them into quenelles, a technique I use, which is less messy.
Quenelles are usually made using two spoons to give an oval shape to ice creams or sobets. However, this method can also be used for other ingredients which are soft and can be shaped, such as mashed potatoes, etcc.
The mixture is passed from one spoon to the other, giving the shape of an elongated fritter and then fried.
They are served as a appetizer or as a side dish and are best eaten hot.
Bite through a slightly crisp, brown outer coat and discover the meltingly soft, light yet sticky, interior. You’ll love them.
I’ve made them with all the above mentioned ingredients and whichever you will use, I assure you thaat they are utterly delicious, and do not take much time to make.
Two years ago, my brother and his family came to Greece from Australia on holidays. I made them and they loved them.
We went to Nafplio during a weekend and then all together we went to Tinos for our holidays.
The Church of Evaggelismos tis Theotokou (the Virgin Mary)
Painting a smaller Church
A typical island house at Tinos, where you may see of the roof the pigeon holes.
View from the Castle (Palamidi)
In the local “tavernas” it was a kind of a speciality and we used to order them a lot. My sister in law remembered them a few weeks back when we spoke on the phone and I promised that I would post the recipe for her.
Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Patties or Fritters)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Waiting time: about 1/2 hour
Frying time: 30 minutes
Makes: about 30
- 500 grams / 1.1 lb zucchini, grated
- 1 big onion, grated or finely chopped
- 1 cup parsley, mint, basil or dill, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 1 – 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly grated black pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 200 grams / 7 oz feta, crumbled
- 100 – 150 grams / 3.5 – 5.2 oz. flour (or bread crumbs or oats)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Olive oil, for frying
- Wash the vegetables and let them drain.
- Grate the zucchini and put it in a colander with salt for half an hour.
- Squeeze to remove all the fluid.
- Put it in a large bowl, add 100 grams of flour as well as all the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
- Let the mixture stand in the fridge, for at least half an hour, to absorb the fluids. If the mixture has some moisture on top, add the remaining flour.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet or non-stick frying pan.
- Using two spoons, form quenelles and gently slip them into the oil one by one. Do not add too many in the pan. Fry on both sides until golden on both sides.
- Remove them on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
Serve with some wine, tsipouro (tsikoudia, raki or zivania) or Greek ouzo!
Stin ygeia sas!
(The Greek phrase for toasting is “Stin ygeia sas” (pr. stin ee-GHEEA sas), which means “to your health”).
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,