Pseftokeftedes is a Greek word made up of two parts. ‘Psefto’ meaning pseudo or false and ‘keftedes’ which is the word for meatball with onions and spices. So in other words ‘false meatballs’ as they are vegetarian fritters. Since they are concealing their true identity they are bursting with flavour to distract you from discovering their secret.
Traditionally this recipe was a way to use up an abundance of seasonal produce. Naturally what’s wonderful about this concept is there is such a great variety to experience. Many a Greek taverna serves up a variety of vegetable fritters as appetisers to a meal or as part of a mezzes plate. Carrots, pumpkins, leeks, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, beans and more have all been shredded and formed into tasty, delicious little patties. If there is a vegetable, there is a way to turn that into a cheeky crispy little patty of wholesome goodness.
In Australia, zucchini fritters have taken off in recent years and become popular as a breakfast or lunch item on the menus of beachside cafes. They can usually be ordered with a side of eggs or avocado. Zucchini fritters are a great way to eat healthily but be happy and satisfied. They tend to be popular with toddlers too. Easy to whip up and a win win.
Now leek has a way of elevating the profile of a vegetarian dish. As do shallots. Both are delicate and rich members of the onion family. You can just imagine Monsieur Leek and Madame Shallot being pompous and putting on conceited graces in front of their humble hardworking cousin Mr Onion at the family reunion.
This particular recipe and video of fritters were created using leek and shallots. Prasokeftedes is the name of this recipe, praso is leek and keftedes as we know now is fritter. As for the taste I have three words to describe it. Rustic. Delectable. Flavoursome.
The delicate sweet notes of the leek combined with the subtle sharpness of shallots, refreshing leafy dill, and earthy parsley absorb one into the other producing a warm and rich peppery aroma. Biting into the rustic fritter like a chunky vegetable small pancake of sorts you relish the savour of the nuances of each component of the chosen greenery.
The accompanying dollop of tzatziki is an absolute must. Dipping a prasokeftedes or leek fritter into the herbed yoghurt you can practically hear bouzouki strumming an enchanting song and feel the salty breeze on your cheeks against the mirage of a dear whimsical Mediterranean coast.
- This mixture can be made a day before and will keep for up to two days in the fridge. Making it even easier to fry a few fresh ones on demand.
This recipe can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in a container. Perfect for a snack or lunchbox they taste delicious cold too.
They can even be frozen. You can freeze the mixture and defrost later to cook. You can also freeze them cooked and let them defrost overnight in the fridge to eat or pack for lunch the next day.
- These are great to serve when having guests over, for mezze, as an entree, finger food, light lunch or dinner and a handy vegetarian option
Serve with tzatziki or mint yogurt
To be completely dairy free use coconut yogurt instead
Serve with smashed avo and poached eggs for a brunch or lunch meal
Other sides that also marry well with this flavour are mushrooms, halloumi, bacon or smoked salmon
Leek & Herb Prasokeftedes Recipe Steps
- 2-3 large leeks- cut in quarters lengthwise then slice finely only white & light green part (600 grams)
- 2 cups finely sliced shallots lightly packed
- 1 1/4 cup SR flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 tablespoon dill
- 1/2 cup parsley Lightly packed
- 3 eggs Large
- 1 1/2 Cups Greek Yoghurt
- 2 teaspoon Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil Extra Virgin
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Garlic clove finely grated
- 1/2 Cup Grated cucumber Skin only (squeeze liquid out any remaining liquid)
Leek & Herb Fritters Method
- Finely slice the leeks, then blanch for 4-5 minutes in a large pot, ½ teaspoon of salt, 3L of water.
- Strain the leeks over a colander and drain well (no need to squeeze the water out of the leeks)
- In a large mixing bowl add the blanched leeks, shallots, herbs, flour, salt, pepper and mix.
- Crack eggs in to a separate bowl and beat with a fork
- Add eggs in leek mixture and combine
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook in a non stick frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side until nicely browned and crispy. Cook in batches, placing on paper towels to absorb the oil.
- Serve with Tzatziki
- Grate cucumber (skin only) and squeeze out any excess liquid
- Combine all ingredients
- Drizzle one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on top when serving
- Garnish with chopped dill