When I’m creating a recipe that I want to be truly representative of the cuisine, I look to what the region produces and plan to incorporate some of those elements into my finished dish. With Greece, it was a no brainer. Lemons, certainly. Lots of dill, mint and garlic. Yup. Greek yogurt and feta cheese, OMG!
Yes, these fritters bring many of the country’s best flavors to the dinner table, helping take your friends and family on a little trip to Greece when you throw your own Greek Dinner Party.
YES, I HATE GRATING VEGIES TOO!
No, I’m not going to ask you to use a box grater, I know it can be tedious, but I prefer it when I’m only doing a small amount of an item. I like to have control over my end results. But this in one instance that I called in the big girl food processor and both the zucchini and carrots were done in a snap. Some years ago I acquired a smaller processor that I use all the time now that H.H. and I are empty nesters. It’s a slow process, but I’m still learning how not to have leftovers, and it’s probably a little harder for me anyway, as I’ve spent years catering for hundreds of people.
For getting the moisture out of the veggies before adding any ingredients, I always use a kitchen towel that is dedicated to this purpose. It does tend to get a tie-dyed look sometimes after a batch of beet spirals or cooked spinach, but I just pre-treat it and throw it in the washer and hope some of the stains come out. If they don’t, c’est la vie!
Once all the ingredients were in the bowl, I was struck by how great it smelled, and it was just the raw mixture. My mouth started to water with anticipation, but you don’t want to taste the mixture before it’s cooked, as the raw egg makes it inedible at this stage.
When I make this type of recipe or something like my apple and sage breakfast sausage and can’t taste it for the final seasoning, I always cook up a small “test” patty. This way I’m able to judge if and what seasonings should be added. Sometimes they need extra breadcrumbs or egg if they aren’t holding together properly.
This method is mandatory when making large quantities of a recipe for a catered function, as you don’t want to find out after you’ve sauteed 80 fritters that they really needed more salt. That’s not how I roll. It’s worth the few extra minutes to have them just right!
LET’S TALK FRITTERS!
Now let’s talk about how you’re going to use your fritters. Are you making them ahead to freeze in preparation for your own Greek theme party? If so, you’ll want to make these patties on the thicker side, as they’ll be lightly browned before freezing, and then thawed and reheated in the oven the day of the party. So, a thicker, less browned fritter will hold up to the oven heat and come out nicely browned while still being moist inside.
If you’re making and using them the day you’ll be serving them, you can make them a bit thinner and of course cook them to a nice golden brown. This recipe makes about 12 appetizer sized fritters and 18 hors d’oeuvre sized pieces. The yield of this recipe depends entirely on how large you make your patties, some people like to use a scoop (I’m waving my hands) and some like to do it by eye. It’s entirely up to you. When I have a certain amount of guests coming though, I do want to make sure I come out with the amount I need.
If you’re going to be tucking these away for a later date, you’ll want to flash freeze them. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or foil and add the cooked fritters in a single layer. Cover with another layer of wax paper to keep them protected. Put the pan in the freezer for a few hours or until the fritters are frozen solid. Transfer the pieces to a plastic storage bag, label appropriately, and pop those yummy tidbits in the freezer. (You know they’re yummy ’cause you did a test patty, right?)
I’m not a huge fan of plain mint, though I do like Peppermint Patties, so I tend not to put tons into recipes. I gave you the amounts I feel will give you the best results, but always feel free to customize my recipes to fit your taste sensibilities. Despite my not being fond of mint, I will say that leaving it out entirely is a mistake. The flavor profiles of this recipe really need all the elements playing off each other to give you the desired final results.
The addition of a refreshing yogurt-based cucumber salad, toss in a few Greek olives and a twist of lemon and you’ll be dining in Athens within minutes of serving this dish. The azure Aegean Sea awaits you…
Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life, where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.
Don’t forget to sign up for your twice weekly visits from Ingredients For A Fabulous Life. You don’t want to miss out on something fabulous, do you? Use the form on the right of this page to start receiving our fabulous posts and newsletter today! We can’t wait for you to become a member of our community!
- 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup carrots, grated
- 2/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
- 2-3 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-1/3 cups feta cheese, crumbled
- Canola or Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
- 1 large European cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/3 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped
- 1 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- PLATE GARNISH
- Boston lettuce leaves
- 18 Greek olives
- 6 lemon twists
- Place grated zucchini on a kitchen towel in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Roll up the zucchini in the towel and twist repeatedly, until no more liquid is draining out. Place drained zucchini into a medium bowl.
- Add carrots, green onions, dill, mint, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and pepper to the zucchini and fold together with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Add eggs and gently fold them into the mixture. Add panko and feta, folding them into the mixture until well combined.
- Using a medium scoop, form 12 patties (adjust the size to your according to your menu usage) and place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2-4 hours.
- Heat a heavy large skillet on medium-high heat until hot. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/8 inch. (YES, DO IT IN THIS ORDER. HOT PAN, COLD OIL, FOOD WON'T STICK!)
- Working in batches, add the fritters to the pan, making sure not to crowd them to allow proper browning.
- IF USING DAY OF PREPARATION: Cook the fritters until golden brown on both sides and heated through, roughly 3-5 minutes per side. Adjust heat if fritters are browning too fast. Add more oil as necessary for each batch.
- IF MAKING AHEAD TO FREEZE UNTIL PARTY DAY: Cook the fritters until lightly browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. (You'll be reheating them in the oven on party day and you don't want them to be overdone!)
- Transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm until service.
- DAY OF USE: Bake at 375 degrees on a Pam sprayed baking sheet until browned and crispy, about 18 minutes. Flip fritters half way through cooking time.
- Repeat the same salting/draining process for the cucumber slices as for the grated zucchini, except you don't want to twist the moisture out, just place another towel on top and pat them dry instead.
- Place the cucumbers and onion in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients and mix well to combine.
- Add dressing to the cucumber mixture and stir gently to combine.
- Line salad plates with Boston lettuce leaves, place 2 fritters, domino-style, on top and to one side. Add a portion of the cucumber salad on the other side of the plate. At bottom of plate, add the olives, dill and lemon slice for garnish. (Think Pretty!)
This recipe makes 12 appetizer sized fritters or 18 hors d'oeuvre sized pieces.