Tomatokeftedes – Greek tomato fritters

Tomatokeftedes - Greek tomato fritters
  • Starter
  • easy
  • Makes20
  • 60 minutes, plus 30 minutes to 3 hours resting time on the dough, depending on how much time you can spare



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Eaten as appetiser or starter these morsels are deliciously decadent. They are full of nutrients, to satisfy hunger and taste buds. It's the trademark of the Santorini cuisine, using local juicy and full of flavour baby tomatoes. The exceptional taste is attributed to the local plant.

The recipe is simply a mixture of local tomatoes, herbs, flour, cheese (feta) and onion rolled into balls and fried in olive oil. There are several versions: with feta (as below), courgette fritters, and even the addition of cinnamon. There are a couple of secrets to a good recipe, I was told. The first is to squeeze the tomatoes and onions by hand and not grate them. Second is to leave the dough resting for a few hours, if you can wait, so the flavours marry well, and the tomatoes become soft.

They can be simply served with fresh strained yoghurt with a drizzle of Greek olive oil - What a combo!

Start by preparing the tomatoes. With clean hands, squeeze the tomatoes until the skins have broken. Place them in a fine mesh sieve with some salt resting over a bowl and leave them for 30 minutes
Add the onions and tomatoes to a mixing bowl and combine with a spoon. Add the herbs and feta and mix with a fork. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, some salt and pepper
Add the dry mixture to the tomato mixture, stirring with a spoon until combined. The dough is ready when firm enough to make the balls - add more flour if needed
Place in a bowl covered in the fridge for 30 minutes, or preferably 2–3 hours, if you can wait!
Pour enough olive oil into a pan to coat the bottom and place over a medium-high heat
Using a dessertspoon, shape the dough into balls or patties. Lower them carefully into the hot oil. Repeat this process until the surface of the pan is comfortably filled. Fry the tomatokeftedes for about 2–3 minutes on each side until nicely coloured, place on a paper towel to absorb any excess grease
Enjoy this fabulous Greek island recipe, hot or cold, with some strained yoghurt to dip, some crusted bread and a sip of ouzo!
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