We have a true love affair with everything food. We love eating it, cooking it, talking about it, trying new recipes and tasting new flavours. I am certain that the love affair began early on in our lives, in our mother’s kitchens, perhaps stirring over a steaming saucepan, or licking a wooden spoon laden with the remnants of raw cake batter. The love affair has continued into our adulthood, and we nurture it daily in our homes, in restaurants, in friend’s kitchens, and in our travels around the world.
Early into our Sydney Food Sister journey, it became very apparent that Caterina and I had the perfect synergy when it came to food. I have no doubt that much of that synergy comes from our similar upbringing, by mothers who shared common food philosophies stemming from their Italian and Greek traditions, flavours and food principles, that they themselves had grown up with.
Because of these two amazing women, we have a wonderful repertoire of traditional Italian and Greek recipes between us. There are a lot of similarities and overlap between them. I love the banter between us when we sit and argue about whose mother’s recipe is better at celebrating a particular ingredient. What I love even more, is when we stop arguing and use our unique synergy to create amazing recipes, drawing from food that has been in our families forever.
And so when you get an Italian and a Greek arguing about whose mother makes the best zucchini fritters… you end up with a new recipe that is even better than the original two. The Greeks call them Kolokithokeftedes, the Italians call them Frittelle di Zucchine... either way, zucchinis are in their prime at the moment - do yourselves a favour, grab a few and make a double batch of this recipe!
Makes 12 medium sized fritters or 24 small ones
3 cups firmly packed coarsely grated zucchini
1 tablespoon salt
1 medium sized red onion, finely diced
½ cup finely chopped parsley
2/3 cup finely chopped mint
1 heaped tablespoon chopped dill
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
120 grams Feta cheese, crumbled
50 grams finely grated parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup of plain flour
Greek yoghurt for dipping
sprinkling of mint and parsley
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and mix through so the zucchini is coated in the salt. The point of doing this is to extract as much liquid as possible out of the zucchinis, which will make for crispier fritters. If you have the time, allow this to drain for 2-3 hours, or even overnight. If not, allow it to drain for at least 10minutes.
- Using your hands, squeeze as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible. Place the drained zucchini in a large bowl.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients into the bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until they are all well combined. The mixture should have a relatively wet feel to it, but not so wet that it all sticks to your hands. If it is too wet, add some more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Don’t be too tempted to add too much flour, as they will become stodgy.
- Place the flour on a flat plate. To create medium sized fritters, place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture in your hands and form it into a ball. This can be a little messy. You won’t be able to roll it into a ball as the mixture will be too wet, so just gently form a ball, and then drop it onto the plate with flour. Gently toss the ball through the flour, so it is liberally coated. You need to ensure that the fritters are well coated in flour, if not they will break apart when you try and fry them. Place on a clean plate. Repeat the process until all the mixture is used.
- Place the oil in a medium sized frying pan, using enough to completely coat the base. If you want them to be nice and golden, it is best to use about 0.5cm in height of oil. Place the pan on the medium heat setting of your stove, and allow the oil to heat for a minute.
- Place the fritters in the frying pan, allowing ample space between them. Using an egg flipper press them down gently so that they flatten and spread out a little. Cook them for three minutes on one side, flip them over and cook for a further three minutes, or until they are golden brown. The oil should be sizzling slowly as you cook them, so that the golden colour develops gradually. If they are browning too quickly, reduce the heat.
- Remove them from the pan and drain on paper towel
- If your oil is dirty or almost used up, wipe the pan clean with paper towel and refill with clean oil to cook the remainder of the fritters.
- We think these are best eaten at room temperature, rather than hot from the pan, so allow them to cool slightly before serving. We love dipping them in yoghurt, or making a vegetarian burger or wrap with them. Enjoy!
Food photography, story and recipe creation by Effi Tsoukatos & Caterina Sterrantino for the Sydney Food Sisters