So it's the first day of Summer here in Sydney - and is shaping up to be another 30C+ day. When it's so hot, I rarely feel like cooking much in the evening after a day in the office and a steamy city commute. However, my efforts can stretch to chopping a few tomatoes and whipping out the fry pan for a batch of tomato fritters, called domatokeftedes (ντοματοκεφτέδες).
These brightly coloured delights are a speciality of Santorini and they are traditionally made with the island’s native tomato. Santorini is also home to amazing fava (yellow spilt peas), capers and wine. Happily you can now buy the crisp white wines from Santorini easily in Australia - and it's a perfect match for these domatokeftedes. Another essential for a warm evening and eating outdoors!
My version of domatokeftedes uses very ripe Roma tomatoes and I have flavoured them with plenty of mint - both dry and fresh. I use a dried wild mint from Greece, which is incredibly aromatic (You can buy a similar wild mint from Greece here). You could really add any herbs you like - dill, parsley or basil would all work nicely with the tomatoes. However, I can't help but feel there is something just so summery about the combination of the tomatoes and mint.
These fritters can be served as part of a mezze plate, however I think that they are delicious dipped into tzatziki - or given a little squeeze of lemon. For a simple dinner, I serve them with some sliced cucumber from the garden, avocado and Thassos olives - liberally doused with some good Greek wine vinegar and a touch of olive oil.
Tomato Fritters - domatokeftedes (ντοματοκεφτέδες)
300g ripe roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
100g (1 & 2/3 cup) self-raising flour
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp dried mint leaves
olive oil, to shallow fry
1. Combine tomatoes, red onion and herbs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper; knead well. Then add the flour to the bowl and mix well - the batter will be fairly sticky.
2. Heat about an inch of olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat. Working in batches, scoop up a spoon of the mixture and using another spoon gently drop into the pan and lightly flatten. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towel, season with salt and serve with lemon wedges and tzatziki.