Tomato Fritters: Summer on a Fork

This traditional Greek dish is made with fresh, plump tomatoes, and plenty of patience. They take a day to make, but it's worth it!


Chef: Christoforos Peskas

Preparation & Cooking time: Total 10h & 15 min, including 6h to roast, 3h to chill/rest, and 15 min to fry.

Serves: 40-50 fritters

Many Greek recipes are simple to execute but require lots of work in the kitchen; this is one of them. Greek cooks serve up all sorts of fritters  – at home and in taverna kitchens, everything from zucchini to octopus gets turned into round bite-size fried treats – but for culinary suspense, it’s hard to beat an appetizer that takes ten hours to prepare.

Method

Heat oven to 80o C/180oF

Blanch 2 kg of tomatoes briefly in a pot of boiling water, taking care not to let them overcook.

 

Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and put them straight into a bowl of cold water with ice cubes to stop the cooking process and to make them easier to handle.

Peel the blanched tomatoes, cut them into quarters, and remove the core and the seeds.

Put the blanched tomatoes in a bowl with 50 ml olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix.

Line a shallow baking dish with greaseproof paper and spread the quartered tomatoes across the bottom in a single layer. Top each piece with a thin slice of garlic, and roast for 6 hours, turning once.

Remove the roast tomatoes from the oven and chop them finely.

Grate the remaining tomatoes (200 gr), salt them, and drain well, removing seeds.

Put all the tomatoes, both grated and roasted, in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Take the mixture out of the refrigerator and roll into small balls (if the mixture isn’t firm enough, add 1-2 tbsp flour).

In a deep frying pan, heat enough olive oil to come 1/3 up the sides on a medium to high heat. Fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.

Serve with yoghurt or a feta cheese dip.

This recipe was previously published in Greek at gastronomos.gr.

Ingredients

  • 2.2 kg tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 150 g onion, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 g corn flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 25 g basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 50 ml olive oil, plus more for frying
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper



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