These fritters (keftedes in Greek) are typically served as part of a mezedes, the array of snacks eaten at the start of a meal or at any time when drinking ouzo. Add some dolmades, spanakopita, olives and tzatziki to create your own mezedes, or serve them as an entrée with Greek yoghurt on the side. You need to remove as much moisture as possible from the grated zucchini; if you have someone to assist, I find this is best done wringing it in a tea towel, alternatively salt it well and drain in a sieve for 30 minutes or so, then squeeze it a handful at a time. The fritters should be crisp on the outside and soft and juicy inside, so fry them in plenty of hot oil and cook them in batches so that the temperature stays high. Kolokithokeftedes are just as delicious at room temperature as they are warm. Serve with ouzo or a glass of Greek varietal Assyrtiko, such as the delicious one made by Jim Barry in the Clare Valley.
Makes about 18
- 1kg zucchinis, coarsely grated
- 4 green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped dill sprigs, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ cup self-raising flour
- 200g feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, for shallow-frying
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Natural yoghurt, for serving
- Wrap zucchini in a clean, dry tea towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Place in a bowl with green onion, dill, mint, lemon zest, flour, feta, egg, salt and pepper and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Cover the base of a frying pan generously with oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, 3 or 4 at a time, drop heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture into the oil and cook for about 2-3 minutes each side, until golden and cooked through. Don’t overcrowd the pan and use 2 spatulas to flip them over as they are delicate. Drain on paper towel.
- Pile onto a platter, sprinkle with salt, garnish with mint and dill and serve with lemon wedges and yoghurt on the side.