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Monday, January 24, 2011

Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokitho Keftedes) with Tzatziki sauce

Now these were a real blown-away delicious and light treat that made our night with friends very tasty. The fritters tasted very very smooth and light and herbal-cheesy flavored, while the dip was pure  and airy with a hint of garlic and matched the keftedes perfectly. 
For inspiration we used various recipes the internet had to offer, taking the best of what each had, while also trying to keep it as traditional as possible. The dish was wonderful not not only hot, but also several hours later... and our two best friends, Vlad and Laura, kept downing them one after the other, at the same time complaining about how full they are. Although the delicious cinnamon and ricotta pancakes with raspberry sauce and pomegranate seeds that followed seemed to not meet any resistance ;). But about those, some other time.
If you can't find breadcrumbs (as we), it's easy to buy croutons and smash them with a garlic crusher or food processor. That being said, this really is a wonderful recipe (as most of Greek and, broadly speaking, Mediterranean cuisine) and you'll love it. Beyond bets. You will.

Ingredients (serves 4):
  • 2 large zucchini (800 g)
  • 4 green onions (leaves included)
  • 1 medium carrot (200 g)
  • 20 g fresh thyme
  • 1 medium potato (150-200 g)
  • 7 cherry tomatoes (100 g)
  • 7 big tablespoons of wheat flour
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • some olive oil for frying
  • some salt
  • 1 egg (preferably larger)
For the tzatziki dip:
  • 100 g light yogurt (thick consistency; Greek yogurt would be perfect)
  • 2 medium cucumbers 
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • some salt
  • some white pepper
  • very little olive oil
First of all, get the main ingredient of this, which is the zucchini. Wash them and discard their ends:

Don't peel, just directly grate them:

When done, squeeze them firmly and drain all the dripping water:

Salt the zucchini mass. Then, get the green onions and wash them:

Chop them into fine pieces:

Set them aside. Next, grate the carrot and add it to the zucchini:

Next, pick the thyme leaves from the stalks:

Add them to the zucchini-carrot composition:

Also grate the potato and add it:

Cut the cherry tomatoes into little pieces and add them too. Also add the flour:

Get the feta cheese. Crumble it or cut it into fine pieces. Beat the egg and set it aside:

Get your hands into the composition and work it into a sort-of dough. 

Add the green onions, feta and egg and mix some more. When it's all even, add the breadcrumbs:

Mix again. The composition is done. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and make little fritters out of the composition using a large tablespoon. Gently fry them for 3-4 minutes on each side or until they slowly brown:

When all are done, allow them to cool a bit while you make the tzatziki dip. For that, put the yogurt in a sauce bowl, add a drop or two of olive oil, the lemon juice and some salt and mix:

Grate the cucumbers:

Add them to the rest:

Crush the garlic cloves and add them to the rest:

 Optionally, you may add a little white pepper. Serve (preferably) while the keftedes are hot and the tzatziki cold (from the yogurt's out-of-the-fridge coolness). Dig in!

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