Courgette & feta balls

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Kolokythokeftedes [Ko-lo-ki-tho-kef-te-thes]. The name alone sounds like a mouthful but the recipe is a fairly simple and very delicious Greek snack made with seasonal courgettes (or zucchini) and feta cheese. These savoury balls are traditionally fried, as are all versions of keftedes (meat or vegetable balls) but you can grill them in the oven as I have in the recipe below.

Courgettes are a summer squash which contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. Being quite mild in flavour when cooked, they pair well with stronger tasting foods such as salty feta, seasonal fresh herbs, lemon and good quality extra virgin olive oil. Although you can eat courgettes raw, it’s more commonly served cooked and equally tasty poached and served with lemon and olive oil. These courgette and feta balls are grilled in the oven, a healthier alternative to deep frying. Serve as a starter with lemon wedges and a dip such as tzatziki or tahini dip (I will link to these recipes later).

COURGETTE & FETA BALLS

Serves 4 as a starter

1 large courgette (about 350g), coarsely grated

90g Greek feta, crumbled

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

1/2 cup fresh herbs such as parsley and dill

1 slice sourdough bread

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil for brushing

  1. Preheat the grill in the oven (oven rack should be in the middle) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Place the grated courgettes into a tea towel, wrap and squeeze the water out over the sink. Place the courgettes into a mixing bowl with the crumbled feta and stir lightly.

  3. Chop the garlic, shallot, herbs and bread either in a food processor (this works best) or finely chop with a knife and toss into the courgette mixture. Season with black pepper.

  4. Add one lightly beaten egg and stir well with a fork. Take heaped tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls or oval shapes. Place onto the prepared baking tray.

  5. Brush generously with olive oil and gill for about 10 minutes on each side or until golden. Allow to cool before serving.