Recipe courtesy Selene Restaurant, Santorini, Greece
Offering visitors a bite to eat and a drink dates back to the ancient Greeks. Today, meze are often enjoyed at an ouzeria, an ouzo bar that serves small dishes alongside the anise-flavored spirit.
Common Greek meze include tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt dip), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves),spanakopita (spinach and feta in phyllo dough), taramosalata (fish roe dip), keftedes (lamb meatballs) andsaganaki (fried cheese). No Greek meze is complete without olives and a salad made of tomato, onion, cucumber and feta. Keftedes are popular throughout the country, but you will only find these flavorful tomato keftedes on the sun-kissed island of Santorini.
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 ounce fine cornmeal
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, finely diced
- 8 ounces white onions, finely diced
- 2 ounces scallions, finely diced
- ½ ounce fresh spearmint leaves, finely chopped
- ½ ounce fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- 1 quart sunflower or olive oil, for frying
Preheat frying oil to 375˚F, as measured with a candy or deep-fry thermometer.
In a large non-reactive mixing bowl, combine flour and cornmeal. Add tomatoes, onions, scallions, spearmint, parsley and tomato paste. Mix with hands until well combined, and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Form fritters using hands or two tablespoons. Fry until they turn brown on both sides and float to the top. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels for a few minutes before serving. Yields 36 fritters.
Tsililis 2015 Theopetra Malagouzia-Assyrtiko (Greece). Strong mineral notes and bright flavors of mango and peach are a natural accompaniment to these fritters, with their hint of mint.