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Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Patties or Fritters)

Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Patties or Fritters)

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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.

kolokythokeftedes picture

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. 

zucchini image

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.

kolokythokeftedes image

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.  Start with 120 grams, let it sit in the fridge for half an hour and if you see some water on top, you can add the remaining as well.

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.

Take a spoonful of the mixture and when the oil is hot, carefully drop them in the oil and fry on both sides.

If you avoid eating fried food, shape them into patties by hand, round or oblong, drench them in flour and bake them on parchment paper for about half an hour. 

However, today I am going to show you how I shape them into quenelles, a technique which is less messy.

Use two spoons to make the quenelles, to give an oval shape, similar to the way to shape ice creams or sorbets.  However, this method can also be used for other ingredients which are soft and can be shaped, such as mashed potatoes, etc.

Put some of the mixture in one spoon.  Hold two spoons in each hand, in opposite direction and pass the mixture from one spoon to the other, giving the shape of an elongated fritter and then fry on both sides.

Serve them as a appetizer or as a side dish and are best eaten warm, accompanied by tzatziki or yoghurt and feta dip or tyrokafteri.

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 that they are utterly delicious, and do not take much time to make.

kolokythokeftedes image

In 2006, my late 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 (before moving here) and then all together we went to Tinos for our holidays.

Tinos Island:

Evaggelismos tis Theotokou Church

The Church of Evaggelismos tis Theotokou (the Virgin Mary)

Church painting

Painting a smaller Church

House Tinos

A typical island house at Tinos, where you may see of the roof the pigeon holes.

Nafplio:

View from the Castle (Palamidi)

Nafplion and Bourdji

Bourtzi

In the local “tavernas” it was a kind of a specialty 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.

Collage Kolokythokeftedes image

 In the video, I made them using the two spoons to form the quenelles.  If you want to make them round, you can use an ice cream scoop and when putting them in the oil just press them with a spoon or fork to make them flat.  Otherwise, you can shape them with your hands.

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”).

Kolokythokeftedes zucchiini fritters picture
kolokythokeftedes image

Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Patties or Fritters)

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) zucchini, grated
  • 1 big onion (or spring 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 paprika
  • 200 grams / 7 oz feta, crumbled
  • 100 – 150 grams (3.5 – 5.2 oz.) all purpose flour (or bread crumbs or oats)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup olive oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Wash the vegetables and let them drain.
  2. Grate the zucchini and put it in a colander with salt for half an hour.
  3. Squeeze to remove all the fluid.
  4. Put it in a large bowl, add 120 grams of flour as well as all the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet or non-stick frying pan.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove them on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 30
Amount Per Serving Calories 50Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 18mgSodium 194mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 2g

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Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Angie's Recipes

Sunday 23rd of May 2010

Ivy, these patties look very yummy too! Next time I definitely try them with feta cheese.

Angie

ivyliac

Sunday 23rd of May 2010

Thanks Angie. They are not very different from yours, just the spices and a little more herbs.

Ivy

Wednesday 16th of September 2009

You're welcome Steve. Hope you and Yvonne enjoy your meze with a cold beer or a glass of wine.

steve

Wednesday 16th of September 2009

Thanks for that Ivy. We (well I mean my wife Yvonne) will give it a try. I do cook but she is the real Cypriot/Greek cookery enthusiast. Thanks again.

Ivy

Tuesday 15th of September 2009

Hi Steve,

Glad you liked the pilaf. About the meze you are describing, I don't think there is any recipe for this. Just fry or saute the courgettes in olive oil and if frying reserve the remaining oil or discard. Season with salt and black pepper and then add the eggs and mix, just like scrambled eggs. That's it.

Ivy

steve

Tuesday 15th of September 2009

I just found your recipe for Pourgouri Pilaf which we have tired and it was delicious thank you very much. Do you have a recipe for a dish which we often get as part of a meze in Cyprus where we live. It's got courgettes and what looks like fried eggs in it. It isn't served as patties like your kolokythokeftedes but on a plate and people take a couple of spoonfuls as part of the meze.

Thanks

Steve Horrocks

Pafos

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