I often share how a lot of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine is influenced by what residents grow in their gardens. The growing season in Greece is long, and many beautiful fruits and vegetables thrive in the soil. They are easy and inexpensive to grow, which is why they are the basis for many, many beloved dishes. I often imagine someone invented many favorite Greek recipes, like these tomato fritters, because they had an overflow of one ingredient and needed to figure out to use it up. Imagine how inventive they got!
This is a terrific recipe to make when you have a lot of tomatoes on your hand and are expecting a crowd. It makes a generous amount of fritters so you can easily serve a lot of people! I like to serve it with homemade Greek yogurt ( https://youtu.be/nHtfsVbbYzE ) or Tzatziki sauce ( https://youtu.be/8oSTogNiMIs ). The cooling dips go well with the warm, doughy tomato bites.
Very few Greek recipes use butter, but we do pan fry a lot. I fry these fritters in batches, moving them to a lined baking sheet to drain before serving them warm. They are rich with tomato flavor and are wonderfully filling bites to enjoy while you wait for supper, or just hang out with friends. I like making these into small balls and serving them at catered events with a dollop of yogurt on top.
To me, these taste like Greek summer. It’s the flavor of the garden and sun-drenched tomatoes and seaside snacks. I hope you all enjoy these as much as we do. They are a delicious way to use up the tomatoes ripening on your vines and turn them into a delicious Mediterranean delicacy. And yes, they are just as terrific for children as they are for adults. Enjoy them and share them with your friends!
Tomatokeftedes| Tomato Fritters
These are usually served as an appetizer in Greece. They are made with fresh tomatoes, so you often find them in the summer when everyone has fresh tomatoes in their gardens. I often serve them with Greek yogurt on the side.
Makes about 36 fritters
3 medium tomatoes, grated
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 scallions, white and light green pieces finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup feta
2 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
Make the batter by adding the grated tomato to a large bowl, then add the onion, scallions, thyme, crushed red pepper, egg, sundried tomatoes, and feta. Use a wooden spoon to stir everything together.
Mix the flour, salt, and pepper into the tomato mixture. If it’s still very wet you can add a little more flour. It should be able to hold its form when you scoop it.
Pour the oil into a skillet with high sides. Bring the heat to medium-high. You’ll know it is ready when drop of flour in the oil sizzles a little bit.
Use an ice cream scoop to dollops the batter into the hot oil, reduce the oil to medium-low heat. Cook it for 5-7 minutes on the first side, and then about 3 minutes on the second side. You’ll know it is cooked through when the edges are golden brown and the dough is cooked all the way through. Remove the dough with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate or tray lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve the fritters hot with Greek yogurt on the side for dipping!
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.