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. 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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”).
- 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
- 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 120 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.
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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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,