It wasn't until our 4th night in Greece that we tried the tomatokeftedes, aka Tomato Balls, as our appetizer for the night. After the first bite, I had a lot of emotions. First emotion, pure delight because it was the best thing I had ever tasted. Second emotion, confusion because I thought I might have died and was in heaven. And finally a little sadness because why in the world had it taken me four nights to find these little babies!?!
From that moment on, we ate Tomato Balls with every meal except breakfast....had they served them for breakfast, we would have eaten them! While eating them, it was all Van and I could talk about.... Would it be possible to just have a tomato ball restaurant? I would open it and simply name it Tomato Balls. People would love them just as much as us, right? Ok, we became a bit obsessed. Obsessed enough to where I had to try my hand in making them the night after we returned.
I am normally not a fried food eater. I try and eat as healthy as possible but these little bits of heaven just break my willpower. Plus, they are full of veggies so I can't be too hard on myself right?
They were easy to make, tasted just as good and helped us cure our hunger for more of this delicious Greek dish. I found a recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little and here is what was created.
5-6 vine tomatoes
5 TBSP fresh basil
1 tbsp fresh flat parsley
1 tbsp fresh mint
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3 oz good feta
1/2 cup-3/4 cup 1 cup flour (depends on how wet your tomatoes are)
5 TBSP olive oil (good evoo)
- extra for frying
Salt and pepper
1. Dice up tomato flesh. The easiest way to do this is to halve and quarter the tomatoes and then kind up scoop out the tomato guts with the knife. Discard the guts and dice up the tomato flesh. Place in strainer, sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes.
2. While tomatoes are straining, finely dice up onion. Add all ingredients to bowl except flour and baking powder.
3. Mix flour and baking soda in separate bowl and then stir into the veggie and herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Mix enough flour in to be able to form a ball. Not too thick but thick enough to form the ball...they should be fairly wet, not like bread dough. The picture below is a little to dry. If this happens, add a little more olive oil.
4. Add olive oil to frying pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan and heat to a medium temperature. Scoop out a ball of mixture with a spoon. Sometimes it helps to wet the spoon so the mixture won't stick to the spoon. Spoon into hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes until you see the color turn to a golden brown. Take a slotted spoon or spatula and turn over to fry for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Once golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain extra oil. And voila! Crispy, tomato goodness! Serve with feta and a dallop of greek yogurt or tzatziki!
If possible, enjoy with a Santorini sunset.....For more posts from Greece, check out my Mykonos and Santorini posts!