Greek Courgette Fritters with feta, or Kolokithokeftedes, a delicious and healthy summer appetizer that is quick and easy to make with fresh seasonal ingredients. The fritters are shallow fried for a crispy texture, and are served with a refreshing tzatziki sauce.
"Kolokithokeftede" are a delicious Greek appetizer that can be translated as courgette/zucchini balls. And while these Greek courgette fritters could be shaped into balls as well - I have this delicious recipe for Courgette Balls, both versions are as good.
While I do not mind deep frying, shallow frying adds a healthier touch, and it means it's less oily and heavy. The fritters can be baked as well, my Healthy Baked Courgette Bites are baked in a muffin tin, and they went down a treat too.
Courgettes are such a versatile summer produce that grows in abundance and it's easily available in pretty much every supermarket all year round too. Or if you grow you own, even better, lots of delicious dishes to make with courgettes.
On their own, they might be pretty bland, but mix them with other ingredients, and that's a totally different ball game.
- courgettes - I used green courgettes, but the yellow ones can also be used the same way
- feta cheese - feta is a very popular Greek ingredient for these fritters, but you can also use farmer's cheese with cow's cheese instead
- breadcrumbs - panko breadcrumbs are my favourite, but you can also use homemade breadcrumbs by blitzing a slice of bread in the food processor or any other breadcrumbs
- spring onions - they can be swapped for half a regular onion instead
- egg - the binding agent, not to be missed
- dill -I prefer fresh, but dry can be used too
- black pepper - it could be omitted, but I find that it adds so much flavour
Other veggies that could be used in these Greek courgette fritters are: peas, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, carrots or leeks. While the carrots can be just grated, and the sweetcorn canned, the other ingredients would need to be cooked beforehand.
As for herbs, you can also add mint - either fresh or dried for a lovely kick, or fresh or dried parsley. Or, why not, a nice combo of herbs.
For an Indian touch, you can also add some earthy spices like cumin, curry powder, chilli or garam masala, I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon for the whole mixture, otherwise it could be too overpowering.
STEP-BY-STEP photos and instructions
- start by grating the courgettes on the coarse side of the grater, and add them to a bowl ( see photo number 1)
- sprinkle a pinch of salt over, and set them aside for 15-20 minutes so they can release as much liquid as possible
- add the grated courgettes to a cheese cloth, or use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can
- add them back to the bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients
- mix everything well to get a paste ( see photo no. 5)
- heat up the oil in a frying pan, and use a large spoon toto get mixture, and shape it into a patty, then add it to the pan (see photo no 6)
- fry on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil
- repeat with the remaining mixture
How to make tzatziki
Tzatziki is such a great dip for these fritters, it's fresh and healthy, and the perfect accompaniment for any fritters or patties. I also used it for my Gnocchi and Beef Skewers and they were so good!
To make it we need the following ingredients:
- Greek yogurt - you could use plain yogurt too, although it's not as creamy
- olive oil - the better quality, the better the flavour
- cucumber - I used English cucumber, but cornichons are also fine
- garlic - I prefer mincing it for a deeper flavour, but it can also be chopped finely
- grate the cucumber on the coarse side of the grated, and use a cheese cloth of your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can
- add them to a large bowl together with the yogurt, oil and minced garlic, and mix well ( see photo no 7)
My courgette fritters are made with no flour, and although that's an ingredient traditionally used to make these fritters, I find that the flour makes them too tough and rubbery.
Plus, using too much flour until you get a thick paste would make them into patties, which are a totally different dish. We want the mixture to be sloppy.
Make sure you use a non-stick pan, as if the pan sticks badly, the fritters will be hard to flip onto the other side, and they will fall apart. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan, there is no need for any more than that. Also, cook the fritters at a low to medium temperature.
Apart from tzatziki, which is my first choice, you can also go for ketchup, mayo, or a garlic mayo, chilli sauce or bbq sauce.
You can either pan fried them until they are hot enough, or pop them in the oven. In this way they will stay crispy and delicious.
Other courgette recipes
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Greek Courgette Fritters
- 3 medium courgettes (zucchini)
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 spring onions
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon oil to fry
For the tzatziki sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ English cucumber
- To make the fritters, grate the courgettes on the coarse side of the grater, add them to a bowl with a pinch of salt, and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Either use you hands or transfer the grated courgettes to a cheesecloth to squeeze out as much liquid as you can, as courgettes have a high water content.
- Transfer them squeezed courgettes back to the bowl, together with the cheese, egg, black pepper, chopped spring onions and dill, and breadcrumbs.
- Mix everything together to get a sloppy mixture.
- Heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan, and use a tablespoon to get mixture and shape it with your hands into a patty
- Arrange 4 patties at a time in the frying pan, we don't want to overcrowd the pan.
- Fry on both sides until golden, that could take 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
- To make the tzatziki, grate the cucumber on the coarse side of the grater, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- Add it to a bowl together with the olive oil, minced garlic and yogurt, and give it a good mix.
- Serve the fritters with the cold sauce.
- My courgette fritters are made with no flour, and although that's an ingredient traditionally used to make these fritters, I find that the flour makes them too tough and rubbery.
- Plus, using too much flour until you get a thick paste would make them into patties, which are a totally different dish. We want the mixture to be sloppy.
- Other veggies that could be used in these fritters are: peas, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, carrots or leeks. While the carrots can be just grated, and the sweetcorn canned, the other ingredients would need to be cooked beforehand.
- As for herbs, you can also add mint - either fresh or dried for a lovely kick, or fresh or dried parsley. Or, why not, a nice combo of herbs.
- For an Indian touch, you can also add some earthy spices like cumin, curry powder, chilli or garam masala, I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon for the whole mixture, otherwise it could be too overpowering.