Every now and then I receive an email from Peter Minakis inviting me to one of his Greek dinners. My chances of ever going to one are nil, so as always, I lived vicariously through his menu. A while back, an announcement of his Santorini Sunset dinner arrived in my inbox and after reading the menu, the tomato fritters caught my eye and stuck in my mind. Luckily, I found the recipe on Peter's website, printed out the recipe and gave them a try.
Peter explains Santorini tomatoes are "stressed into ripeness from the blazing sun, little moisture and volcanic soil. The result is the sweet, ultra-flavourful, dwarf-like Santorini tomato or “domatinia”." Unfortunately, no Santorini tomatoes in Florida (I've only been there once and yes, the tomatoes we had for lunch were bright red and so sweet), but Peter roasted his cherry tomatoes to get as close as possible to the flavor he remembered. He also used mashed potato as one of the 3 binders, replacing the bread crumbs. While the trinity of dill, parsley and mint are the herbs of choice, Peter substituted basil for the dill.
I think you'll really enjoy these fritters; crisp on the outside and soft inside. A lovely side for anything you're grilling, but most especially seafood.
Santorini Tomato Fritters
From Peter Minakis at Kalofagas.ca, Greek Food and Beyond
2 pounds of ripe cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Approx. 1 cup of self-raising flour
1 baked potato, mashed
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
fresh ground pepper to taste
crumbled Greek feta to taste
vegetable oil for frying
Toss the cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, salt, pepper and some cloves of garlic and roast in a 450F oven for about 30-45 minutes or until they are slightly shriveled the the skins have just burst. I roasted the potato at the same time.
Allow to cool to room temperature and strain the excess liquid (I didn't have any) and reserve the roasted tomatoes in a large bowl. Mash the potato and add to the tomatoes.
In a skillet, saute the chopped scallions in some olive oil until translucent. Allow to cool and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Add the flour, egg and herbs and black pepper to the tomato/potato mixture and mix thoroughly. The mixture will be soft and a bit wet. Add more flour for binding if you need to.
Add some crumbled Feta and taste test your mixture. Adjust flavourings with herbs, pepper or with some more cheese.
Pour some vegetable oil into a large, non-stick frying pan over medium high heat and when a drop of water sizzles, the oil is hot enough to fry the fritters.
Use an ice cream scoop to drop the fritter mixture into the oil and flatten each fritter into the shape of a pattie. Fry each fritter for about 2 minutes per side and reserve on large plate or platter that’s covered in paper towel.
Reserve in a warm oven until the entire batch is ready to be served. Makes about 12 patties.