Butternut Squash Fritters With Olives & Herbs
Butternut Squash Fritters With Olives & Herbs

Butternut Squash Fritters With Olives & Herbs

Fritters made from seasonal vegetables or pulses are prepared in most parts of Greece, using courgettes, aubergines, potatoes, leeks or mixed leafy greens like spinach and sorrel. The islands are particularly big on these kinds of fritters, or pseftokeftedes, meaning ‘fake meatballs.’ Delightfully crispy on the outside, moist and fresh on the inside, they don’t feel heavy or oily at all. The secret for success is to let the grated butternut drain well and to use plenty of chopped fresh herbs and onions. The fritters are typically served with yogurt or a yogurt-based dip such as tzatziki. Here, it's paired with a simple and versatile minty yogurt dip, which you can use in many other recipes.

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Total Time
1 Hour 45 Minutes
350g of butternut squash, grated (using the big holes of a box grater)
1 tsp of salt
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
75g of pitted green olives, roughly chopped
4 tbsp of chopped mint
2 tbsp of chopped parsley
2 tbsp of chopped dill
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g of feta, crumbled
50g of plain flour
1 tsp of baking powder
Oil, for frying (light olive oil or sunflower oil is best)
4 tbsp of Greek-style (strained) yogurt
½ tbsp of chopped mint
½ tsp of ground coriander
½ tsp of finely grated lemon zest
2 tsp of olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

First prepare the dipping sauce in order for it to be chilled by the time the fritters are ready.

Step 2

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

Step 3

Place the grated squash in a colander. Add the salt, toss, and let stand for 30 minutes to drain, then squeeze and press it with your hands to remove any last bit of water. Place in a large bowl with the onion, spring onions (scallions), olives, herbs, beaten eggs and crumbled feta. Taste, to check the seasoning, and gently mix until just combined.

Step 4

Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl gradually, while mixing. The batter should be a little runny and not too thick or the fritters will be too starchy. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and place in the refrigerator for 30–60 minutes. (You can skip this step if you are short of time, but it really helps bring out all the flavours in a very nice way and makes it much easier to form the patties.)

Step 5

Form the patties into ping pong-sized balls and slightly flatten with your hand. Set aside.

Step 6

Place a deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Pour oil into the pan to a depth of 1cm (½ inch) and heat. Once hot, add the fritters a few at a time (to keep the oil heat high so that they turn nice and crispy). Fry for about 2–3 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden. Once cooked, place on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil. Serve with the yogurt dip on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Salt of the Earth by Carolina Doriti (Quadrille, £26), Photography © Manos Chatzikonstantis

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