Friday, November 12, 2010

Greek Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill

Zucchini fritters, also known as Kolokithokeftedes, are a popular Greek meze, or appetizer, and topped with a dollop of tzatziki, are wonderfully delicious as an appetizer or side dish with any entrée. My Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill are incredibly easy to make and can be tweaked any number of ways depending on what you have on hand. The key is to get out as much water as possible out of the zucchini so they produce a good crisp crust. Just grate them, salt them and let the salt do the work pulling the moisture out. Give the grated zucchini one final squeeze, mix it with the rest of the ingredients, shape into small patties and pan fry. It's that easy. The zingy combination of feta, fresh dill and mint make these fritters amazingly addictive, so be warned! 

Greek Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Dill

Makes 8-10 fritters

2 medium zucchini

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

4 green onions, green and white parts, chopped

3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
, beaten
1/2 cup flour

4 tbsp Panko bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

vegetable oil 
tzatziki sauce

Wash the zucchini. With the skins on, grate them with the coarse side of a grater. Sprinkle them with sea salt, to help get the moisture out, and let it rest for an hour. Remove the zucchini by the handful, squeezing to remove as much liquid as you can. You can also use a tea towel or ricer, which removes a lot of water! Put the zucchini in a bowl with herbs, feta and green onions. Mix with a fork. Add the lightly beaten egg and stir. Add flour and panko. The mixture should be wet but not watery. The mixture needs to bind, so you might need a little more flour depending on how much liquid was squeezed out of the zucchini. Add a healthy dose of salt; I prefer Maldon sea salt.

Heat olive oil in a pan about 1/8 inch deep covering the entire pan. When hot, spoon the zucchini mixture into small patties and put them in the pan. Let them cook about 3-4 minutes or until nicely brown and golden, and then flip them over cooking another 3-4 minutes. Remove the fritters and place them on paper towel to remove some of the excess oil. Transfer the fritters to plates and garnish with a dollop of tzatziki, a sprinkle of dill and a curl or two of lemon zest. Serve warm with some more tzatziki sauce at the side. Yum-yum.

COOK'S NOTE: I used my new Microplane box grater that my parent's gave me as a gift this year, to grate the zucchini, and it works better than any grater I have ever owned. It's really sharp, sturdy and is larger than standard box graters, so it gets the work done in half the time. My parents bought it from Williams-Sonoma but you can also buy it online through Amazon.