This month's issue of Bon Appetit features some great Greek recipes for Easter. I'm pretty familiar with Greek food, it being a favorite of my dad's and something he and I eat whenever there is something to celebrate. But these I have never ordered, or even seen on a menu:
Zucchini Keftedes with Feta and Dill
2 medium zucchinis
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 thinly sliced green onions
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 cup panko
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta
Grate zucchini on the large holes of a grater over paper towel. Sprinkle zucchini with the sea salt and let sit for 30 mins to let the excess water run off. After 30 mins, squeeze out as much water as possible and put in a bowl. Add to the bowl the green onions, dill, mint, garlic, lemon peel and a bit of black pepper. Gently stir in panko and egg, then feta. Make patties the size of about 2 tbsps of the mixture each, place the formed patties on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Chill at least 1 hour.
Pour enough Canola or vegetable oil into a pan so the patties can fry in about 1/4 inch of oil. Heat to medium high. Working in batches of about 4, add patties and cook until golden brown, flipping once. Once done, transfer to paper towels. Top each with Greek yoghurt or Tzaziki. Serve while hot.
I know now why these aren't on any menu I've seen: They take too fucking long. Seriously, with the added rest times for these things I was at it for about 3 hours. 5 points of note if you are going to cook these:
1. I think it's probably best to get your hands on some cheesecloth from the dollar store to put the zucchini in after its initial drain time and squeeze out the excess that way. With paper towel it wasn't sufficient.
2. Don't make the same mistake I did and assume the salt in the recipe was IN ADDITION to the salt used on the zucchini to make it drain off excess water. I did, because sometimes I can be pretty thick. Not realizing that of course the water drained off, not the salt with it, I added more, and as a result my keftedes were a little too salty.
3. It's essential to get Greek feta. I'm not a food snob, I will consume most anything, but Canadians just make shitty feta, period. Ditto with American or any region other than Greece. Leave it to the cradle of civilization on this one, okay?
4. Don't think the oil isn't that hot because you don't see bubbles and stick your finger in it. This probably goes without saying. Not so for me, the aforementioned thick one.
5. Don't give a piece of feta to your cat. Cats love salty things and they especially love them when they're mixed with dairy products. The result is the revelation on the part of said cat that she's never had anything this delicious before, and will therefore begin demanding it 24 hours a day. When she realizes that this particular gravy train has left the station, she will sulk, causing a rift in your household, such as I am experiencing now. She's glaring at me as I write this.
These were very good, I found them best hot but you can serve them at any temperature. I think they are a special occasion thing though, because who has 3 hours to make 12 patties? Seriously, who?
Bottom line: they would make an excellent appetizer to a good Greek meal on a special occasion. But you don't have to take my advice. I stuck my finger in hot oil. So: dubious.
Also? I took the fresh herbs I bought and pretended I lived in Provence by stringing them up in my kitchen:
Next steps are shopping exclusively at Anthropologie and changing my name to Amelie.
Easy to do, this thing with herbs, and a great way to save money. Those shits are expensive.