Kolokuthokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)
Across from the ancient Agora in Athens is a line of outdoor restaurants with stunning views of the Parthenon. At one, called To Kouti, meaning “The Box,” are served the best zucchini fritters in Athens, even better than those I used to eat in Jerusalem, many years ago.
- 6 small zucchini, about 3 pounds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ bunch fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
- 2½ teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme is fantastic here)
- 1 spring onion or 4 scallions, diced
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- Cut the zucchini on the grating blade of a food processor or a box grater. Toss with the sea salt and the lemon juice. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Then squeeze the zucchini very hard in a strainer to remove the excess juices and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the mint, fennel, dill, thyme leaves, and the spring onion or scallions to the drained zucchini. Stir in the feta cheese, egg yolks and wine vinegar, then gently fold in the flour. Create small patties about the size of a golf ball and dust lightly with flour, using a small strainer. Arrange on a tray covered with parchment paper. Freeze them for at least 20 minutes. This will make them hold together better when frying.
- When you are ready to serve them, fill a wok or deep fryer with about 3 inches of oil and heat until it is 375 degrees. When ready, fry about 5 at a time for a few minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
- Note: I make all kinds of these vegetable fritters, serving them as a side or an appetizer, sometimes substituting eggplant pulp, carrots, a mixture of vegetables and of course potatoes, calling them latkes in the winter.
- Excerpted from KING SOLOMON’S TABLE by Joan Nathan. Copyright © 2017 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.