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Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters

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traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

Kolokithokeftedes are light and crispy and so jam packed with flavor, these traditional fried squash patties that will have your tastebuds singing happy happy songs!

Zucchini squash, onions, potatoes, carrots, lemon zest and a sprinkle of nutmeg come together in the most delightful combination. The whole lovely veggie mix is bound together with a go-to ingredient Greek cooks have been using for hundreds of years and that is just now catching on in the US, can you guess what it is??  

Flax seed meal! This nutty grain is grown in northern Greece and is said to have come to Greece through Egypt a few millennia ago. Once the ground flax seed (or flax meal) is combined with water, it takes on a thickened, slightly tacky texture which is fantastic as a binding agent and why many cooks in the US are using it as a simple egg replacer, especially in baking.

Shredding your vegetables is quick and easy. You can use the large holed side of a box grater or a large holed hand held grater, my personal preference.  I don’t recommend using your food processor unless you’re sure of your blades.  Dull or incorrect blades can mush up your veggies instead of shred them.  We want to maintain a bit of integrity and texture for this recipe so shred by hand if you can!

grate by hand when possible with large holed grater

grate by hand when possible with large holed grater

This recipe is a Cretan version which includes potato and carrot in addition to the zucchini. I think the value add of the additional veggies is huge and never make my kolokithokeftedes with just zucchini anymore. The colors are just gorgeous too, don’t you think?

shredded zucchini, carrots, potatoes, onions and grated lemon zest

shredded zucchini, carrots, potatoes, onions and grated lemon zest

Something to remember, these are not deep fried but just quickly pan fried.  My pan of choice here is my 10″ crepe pan.  It’s non stick surface, roomy cooking area and low sides make it spot on perfect for kolokithokeftedes! I start with 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, a traditional vegetable oil in Greece, and replace 2 tablespoons with each new batch.  This recipe will make about 9-10 patties using 1/3 cup of mixture for each patty and I fry ideally three, when I’m in a hurry four patties at a time.

You can make the squash mixture up to 3 days, covered in the fridge, before you are going to cook them. I love them hot from the pan best but they are also lovely the next day for lunch. Note – if you’re thinking about leftovers for lunch, you might want to double the recipe, it’s easily and very scaleable and that way you can set a few aside 🙂

as lovely as they are delicious!

as lovely as they are delicious!

Follow the steps below as written and you’ll be serving up a platter of golden brown delicious kolokithokeftedes like a pro in no time!

Ingredients

  • Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp Bob's Red Mill Flax Meal or flax meal of your choice
    • 1/2 cup room temperature water
    • 2 large zucchini (approx 2 lbs or 4 cups shredded/pre-squeezed)
    • 1/2 cup shredded potato (approx 1 medium potato)
    • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (approx 1 medium carrot)
    • 1/2 cup shredded onion (approx 1 small yellow onion)
    • 1/3 cup chopped herbs (I use 2 tbsp each of mint, dill and parsley)
    • 1 tbsp lemon zest
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, fine-crushed and unseasoned
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder (or baker's ammonia/ traditional Greek levener)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    • approx 1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

    Instructions

    Shred zucchini into colander and sprinkle with about 2 tsp of salt (this amount is in addition to above 1/2 tsp). Allow to drain over the sink for 20 minutes or so.

    Mix flax meal and water until completely combined. Set aside and allow mixture to sit for about 10 minutes as you prepare the rest of your recipe.

    Shred onions, carrots and potatoes. Squeeze out liquid from onions and potatoes by ringing them in a clean kitchen/tea towel over the sink. Set aside.

    Chop herbs, measure out breadcrumbs and spices (leaving out the AP flour), zest lemon and combine all in large bowl.

    When flax meal is ready, mix into large bowl with herbs/crumbs/spices until completely combined.

    Rinse (just very lightly) shredded zucchini and ring out any liquid in a kitchen/tea towel, my method of choice. Add all shredded veggies to bowl with flax/herbs/etc mixture and stir to combine completely.

    Lastly, add the flour and, now working with your hands, combine everything once more. Set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes on the counter and for up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator.

    Add 3 tbsp oil to shallow frying pan and bring to medium heat. Watch the pan so your oil does not burn! I keep my pan at number 5 on my induction stove and remove pan from heat for about a minute between batches.

    When ready to fry, scoop up squash mixture (I use a 1/3 cup measure) and roll into a ball your hands. Add ball to hot pan and gently pat into a patty.

    Make sure there is room around each for you to be able to flip them easily. Depending on the temp of your oil, frying should take about 2-3 minutes per side and come out a nice crispy golden brown. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan between each batch.

    Serve these immediately!

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kolo squash piled high
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31 Responses to Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters

  1. Melanie August 15, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    These look delicious but it should not take 9 pages to print the recipe. .

    • Kiki August 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

      9 pages???!!!! Oh I’m so sorry about that! I’ll definitely look into what’s going on there. Thanks so much for letting me know Melanie, much appreciated as I’m often unaware of little glitches like this on the user end! Kiki 🙂
      ps – check your inbox!

    • George Chimiklis August 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

      If you select to print only pages 4-5, you’ll get the entire recipe. If there was a way to exclude the photos, it would probably print on 1 page only.

      • Kiki August 15, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

        Thanks for the info George! I’m trying to find a good plugin to give you all the option to exclude images which would decrease the number of pages significantly – thanks for this in the meantime 🙂

  2. Linda whatley August 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    I highlighted and printed selection and only got down to the recipe and not all the overlapping and reply. Worked good for me.

  3. Georgia August 17, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

    I do them all the time too.but not this exact recipe and I don’t fry them I bake them instead.the question I have is why would you put water when the zucchini it self has so much water and needs to drain very weel and also pat dry with a towel.

    • Kiki August 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Georgia! The water is only to mix with the flax meal which makes it into a gummy soft of texture. This mixture of flax and water is the binding agent, holding all the ingredients together as they cook. You’re right, adding water to the recipe as a whole would be a disaster! Kiki 🙂

    • Marianne in France May 8, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

      Dear Georgia, this idea of baking them really interests me since I am hoping for less oil being used in the process.
      Would you be so kind as to add your recipe here? PLEASE ?
      Thank you so much!
      Marianne

    • Kj February 10, 2017 at 11:26 am #

      Hi there! Can you please let me know how long and at what temp you back yours? Thank you!

  4. Sue G August 20, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Made these last night and they were a hit. I only had one zucchini, so I made up the difference with another squash. It also worked well. My zucchini wasn’t very wet so I was able to skip squeezing it out by omitting the water and just mixing the flax in dry. It worked very well. Very delicious.

  5. Heather August 24, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    Made these tonight and they were FABULOUS!!! First bite and my husband said “This is a keeper!”

    I think the next batch I make, I won’t use the lemon zest and mint, but instead use garlic. I like the tang of the lemon zest, but prefer the robust flavor of the garlic.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it was delicious, and like my husband says, it’s a keeper! 😀

  6. Bettee September 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    How much does this make?

    • Kiki September 9, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

      I get anywhere from 12-15 fritters/pancakes per batch. Once I made them as a first course and got 6 fritters of approx 6″ diameter, 1 per person, and served each with a dollop of skordalia on top garnished with chopped scallions and fresh mint. Hope that helps! Kiki 🙂

  7. Naami October 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    I love this recipe! i will make this for lent!

  8. August October 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    My yiayia used to make these all the time. Glad to find a vegan version 🙂

  9. Carrie Harvey January 26, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    These look delicious! I already make some with just zucchini but this looks better.
    One question – are the breadcrumbs fresh from a loaf or dried?

    • Kiki January 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

      Carrie, I use dried breadcrumbs. If you don’t have any on hand just pop a slice or two in the toaster and let them dry out for an hour or so more – works in a pinch! And these ARE delicious, Kiki 🙂

  10. Laura Sava March 19, 2016 at 7:28 am #

    These Kolokithokeftedes are amazing!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe, dear Kiki 🙂

    All the best from Romania!
    Laura

  11. Eleni April 4, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    I am an experienced Greek cook with meat but we prefer vegan now and I have been trying new recipes. I made these for the first time and squeezed out the potato juice like when making meat kouftes, i also followed the instructions squeezing out courgettes but was reluctant to squeeze the goodness out if the carrots and onion! Sadly the result was
    wet, soggy, greasy fritters.
    🙁

    • Kiki April 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

      Eleni, I know just what you mean about squeezing the carrots and onions but it IS necessary to get a good, crispy/meaty fritter!

  12. Angela Denezi April 26, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    Your recipe sounds very nice and I would like to try them. Unfortunately I don’ t know what flax meal is. Do you know the greek name of it ? Thanks a lot !

    • Kiki May 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

      Angela, I believe it’s γεύμα λιναριού though my spelling may be a little off! let me know if that helps, Kiki xx

  13. Connie April 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! One question: What kind of potato are you using?
    Waxy white new potato or starchy russet baking potato?

    Thank you for all of these glorious recipes!!

    • Kiki May 17, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

      Connie, I’ve used both but do prefer starchy over waxy. The starch is what we’re looking for and I think they also soak up the flavors of the dish better than the waxy. Hope this helps! Kiki 🙂

  14. Sophia March 10, 2017 at 10:56 pm #

    What a wonderful recipe! I have been looking for it for years. By the way, I believe that in this case “meal” does not mean γευμα. I think it means something either similar to πληγουρι or αλεσμενος σπορος. I respectfully submit that it probably is “αλεσμενος σπορος λιναριου”.

  15. James April 2, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

    These were simply AMAZING! Gonna make them again tonight for a guest coming over. Question – could the juice squeezed out of the vegetables be collected to make a sort of vegetable broth for other recipes? I guess I could try it myself, but it saves time knowing if it’s been tried before and whether it’s worth the attempt. Thank you for all these delicious recipes!

    • Kiki April 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

      absolutely!

  16. Scott June 22, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

    These were great – I used 3 ice cubes worth of aquafaba instead of the flaxseed and water, and I served with chard which was a great pairing.

  17. Michelle July 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm #

    For those having trouble printing use http://www.printwhatyoulike.com. It allows you to remove images or other parts that you don’t want. 🙂

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