These Greek tomato fritters aka Tomatokeftedes are probably one of the best vegetable fritters I’ve had! They’re so simple to make, yet packed with so much flavour. They make a great appetiser or snack and they also happen to be vegan/dairy-free.
We visited Santorini last year for my partner’s birthday and it was hands down my favourite city I’ve travelled to so far. The weather was beautiful, the people were friendly and the food was delicious.
Out of everything we ate, the Tomatokeftedes were by far my favourite (their courgette fritters aka Kolokithokeftedes were a close second!). I love any and all fritters, epsecially vegetable packed ones. They’re such an easy way to elevate vegetables. You can turn any old boring vegetable into something so moreish.
These Greek tomato fritters or Tomatokeftedes are traditionally served as an appetiser in Santorini. They’re tomato fritters or patties made primarily with tomatoes, herbs, and other flavourful ingredients. The word “keftedes” generally refers to meatballs or fritters in Greek cuisine, and in this case, the addition of tomatoes gives them a unique and delicious twist.
The basic ingredients for Tomatokeftedes typically include ripe tomatoes, grated or finely chopped, along with a combination of fresh herbs like dill, mint and parsley. The mixture is often bound together with a combination of breadcrumbs or flour, and sometimes eggs. It’s seasoned with various spices like garlic, onion, and sometimes cumin.
Why I love making these Greek tomato fritters:
I’m always looking for new, fun and interesting ways to cook vegetables (I know that tomatoes are technically a fruit, but in my head I’ll always class them as a savoury vegetable). I’ve experimented with so many different types of vegetable fritters. Courgette fritters, chickpea fritter, pea patties, spinach patties, cabbage fritters to random throw-everything-I-have-in-the-fridge fritters. They all have something in common: they’re easy, healthy and so tasty!
Fritters/patties are one of the best ways to elevate vegetables without having to do much apart from slice, mix in a bowl, then fry. I love the simplicity of them and the fact they’re so versatile. You don’t necessarily need to follow a specific recipe and you can use whatever you have available. No need for another visit to the shops to pick up a specific ingredient to make them work.
It’s also nice to be able to change around the flavourings/seasonings you add, so each time you make a variation of fritters they always turn out different. I can never get bored of them, the flavour and ingredient combinations are endless.
One vegetable I’d never added to fritters before now is tomatoes. I’ve always thought of tomatoes as an ingredients in salads and sauces/stews. I imagined they would be too ‘wet’ to work in a fritter. I certainly thought that would be the case when used as a main ingredient in a fritter recipe. How wrong was I! When I saw it on the menu in Santorini, I knew I had to try them and I knew I’d love them before I even tasted one!
These Greek tomato fritters are so simple, yet packed with flavour. All you need are some vine tomatoes, lots of herbs, garlic, onions and some flour and baking powder.
Which diets are these Greek tomato fritters suitable for?
Vegan – These Greek tomato fritters are traditionally egg-free, but most recipes add feta cheese. I’ve left the feta cheese out to keep these fritters vegan.
Gluten-free – since I’m using plain wheat flour, these fritters aren’t gluten-free. However, you can easily substitute the flour for a gluten-free alternative like gram/chickpea flour or a gluten-free flour mix.
Dairy-free – Traditionally these Greek tomato fritters contain feta cheese that’s crumbled up into the mixture. I left it out for the sake of making a vegan/dairy-free version, but feel free to add some feta if you like. I do think it adds a lovely creaminess as well as tangy notes.
Nut-free – There’s no nuts or seeds in sight, so they’re a great appetiser option for those with nut allergies.
What you need to make these Greek tomato fritters:
Tomatoes – Any variety of tomato will work. I like to use large vine tomatoes – I like the way they taste best.
Onion & garlic – both have strong and distinctive flavours that can enhance the taste of almost any dish. They really are the backbone to most savoury recipes. Even when a recipe doesn’t traditionally call for garlic or onions, I usually add them in anyway.
Herbs – Traditionally the recipe calls for fresh parsley, mint and dill, so you can use any or a combination. I left out the mint since I’m not too keen on the overpowering taste of fresh mint.
Lemon zest – Brightens up these Greek tomato fritters
Flour – Adding flour to a wet batter like the one in this recipe will give you the thick consistency to help everything hold together. Especially since we’re not using eggs as a binder.
Salt – to help bring out all the flavours.
How to make these Greek tomato fritters:
Finely chop the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl.
Mix in the onions, garlic, lemon zest and herbs, then add the flour, baking powder, salt & pepper. Mix to form a dough.
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and place on a medium heat.
Add a big tbsp of the mixture into the pan per fritter. Fry for a couple of minutes until browned, then turn over and cook on the other side.
How to store your Greek tomato fritters:
Store your Greek tomato fritters in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can place leftovers in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
These Greek tomato fritters are:
- Can be made gluten-free
- Easy to make
- Easily adjustable to likes/preferences
- A great snack, appetiser or starter.
- So delicious!
Greek Tomato Fritters
- 2 large tomatoes around 250g
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 85 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 bunch dill around 10g, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch parsley around 15g, finely chopped
- Finely chop the tomatoes and add them to a large bowl.
- Mix in the onions, garlic, lemon zest and herbs, then add the flour, baking powder, salt & pepper. Mix to form a dough.
- Cover the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and place on a medium heat.
- Add a big tbsp of the mixture into the pan per fritter. Fry for a couple of minutes until browned, then turn over and cook on the other side.
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