Santorini Domatokeftedes (Tomato Fritters)
by Allana Mortell
- 5 small Roma tomatoes or tomatoes on-the-vine, de-seeded, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced
- 3 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- extra virgin olive oil to coat pan
Place the chopped tomatoes in a colander over the sink or glass bowl and liberally sprinkle salt on top, gently mixing once. Let the salted tomatoes sit for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to drain all the excess juice. This step is necessary for the fritters because before you form the patties, you want as much of the juice removed as possible so your fritters are crispy rather than soggy.
Meanwhile, heat a small sauté pan over low to medium heat and add the olive oil to warm. Add the red onion, garlic, scallion and red pepper flakes and sauté together, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened and onion and scallion are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl. Let cool for at least 10 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the onion mixture has cooled, add the chopped tomatoes to the bowl along with the fresh basil and oregano, salt and pepper. Gently mix all ingredients together. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour with baking powder and baking soda. Slowly and in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, making sure everything is well combined. It should be a slightly thick, pancake-like batter.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into your hands and form mixture into a ball, placing on a large plate. Repeat this pattern until all the batter is used. You should have about 10-12 fritters. Place the plate of uncooked fritters in the fridge to firm up, at least 20 minutes.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and pour a thin layer of olive oil in the pan, enough so it coats the entire surface. Once the oil is shimmering and hot (you can test this by adding a pinch of water and making sure it sizzles), drop at least 3-4 fritters into the hot oil. Depending on how big your pan is, make sure not to overcrowd the fritters. If it’s on the smaller size, add 2-3 at a time. Fry each fritter for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crisped and lightly browned. Add cooked fritters to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Immediately season with salt.
Serve right away with sauces of your choosing: a squeeze of lemon, Greek yogurt, sprinkled with Parmesan or feta, etc.
Yield: 4 servings