“These tasty Kolokythokeftees (translation: tots / fritters / rissoles!) are an ingenious way of transforming bland-tasting courgettes (zucchini) into a sharply appetising dish that captivates everyone who tries it.” – The Food and Cooking of Greece, Courgette Rissoles from Alonnisos.
Not my words! They are the words of the authors, and I whole heartedly agree! I stumbled across The Food and Cooking of Greece cookbook when I was browsing my local library for more cookbooks to borrow.
Do you do that? Borrow cookbooks from your library? It’s an undiscovered secret. 🙂 You see, an obsession with cookbooks poses two problems – budget and space. Great cookbooks are rather expensive! And how many cookbooks have you indulged in, only to find you only use a few recipes from it? And as for storage…my cookbooks are everywhere!
So when I rediscovered my local library, I was pretty thrilled to find that not only had it been completely renovated since I was last there (hmmm, perhaps 10 years ago, cramming for exams??!), but it has an incredibly extensive cookbook section. Every book I own, have ever wanted to own and so many more!!
The first time, I spent 3 hours in the library, browsing all the cookbooks, agonising over which 8 I should borrow. Yes, I borrowed 8! And I was able to keep them for 9 weeks just by renewing them with a click of a button on my iPhone, how cool is that?!
So these cute little Greek Zucchini Tots (aka Courgette Fritters / Rissoles – for the Brits reading this!) are from a cookbook I found at the library called The Food and Cooking of Greece. It’s filled with traditional Greek home-cooking recipes and I’ve made quite a few things from it already. I’ll share more – but right now, let’s kick off with these irresistible zucchini bites!
If anyone can make zucchini sexy, it’s the Greeks. It is just about the blandest tasting vegetable there is. I actually love making salads out of zucchini ribbons, but you can’t taste very much zucchini itself. It’s all the dressing and extra flavours!
The traditional recipe is made by shallow frying them. But I found it took ages (because this makes 40 tots!!) so I tried baking them instead. And what do you know, it worked fabulously! A light spray of oil is all that is required to create a golden crunchy crust, and it stays deliciously moist on the inside. 🙂
These make a great party food because they reheat really well! Or you could make them bigger and have them with eggs for breakfast – or dinner! I would happily scoff these down for dinner any day! – Nagi x
- 1lb / 500 g zucchinis
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup scallions/shallots, finely sliced (white and pale green parts only)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 150g / 5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (or shredded cheddar or tasty cheese)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ cup plain flour
- Oil spray
- 1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more)
- 2 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Grate the zucchini and place into a large colander. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, toss with your fingers and leave to sweat for 30 minutes.
- Working a handful at a time, squeeze out the excess water (as much as you can) and place the zucchini in a bowl.
- Add the Batter ingredients (except oil spray) and mix to combine.
- Spray 2 baking trays with oil. Dollop heaped tablespoons onto the trays, then use your fingers to shape them into cylinder "tater-tot / potato gem" shapes.
- Spray with oil. Bake for 25 minutes, swapping the trays at around 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a crunchy crust forms on the surface.
- Serve with lemon wedges and Tzatziki, if using.
- Mix together ingredients and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.
2. To serve these as a breakfast or brunch, top with a sunny side up egg!
3. You can pan fry these instead of baking them. Just shallow fry on medium high heat until golden on both sides. I suggest making them in fritter shapes to make it easier to cook evenly.
4. These reheat very well! Just pop them in the oven for about 7 minutes at 180C/350F.
5. Adapted from The Food And Cooking Of Greece: A Classic Mediterranean Cuisine: History, Traditions, Ingredients and Over 160 Recipes" target="_blank">The Food and Cooking of Greece cookbook, Courgette / Zucchini Rissoles from Alonnisos.
Nutrition per tot. Ridiculously low so we can eat LOTS! 🙂