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!
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?
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 🙂
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!
Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters
- 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
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!https://thegreekvegan.com/kolokithokeftedes-squash-fritters/Copyright The Greek Vegan 2015
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