Domatokeftedes

Tomato Patties from Santorini

TINY Santorini tomatoes, ripened under the blazing island sun, with little rain and almost no irrigation, are intensely flavorful, with hardly any juice. When making this simple meze with Santorini tomatoes, one doesn’t need to drain them or to add much else.

Trying to duplicate the taste with ordinary tomatoes, I came up with this recipe. Following the same principle, you can make other patties using seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 6 dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1–2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or ½–1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions (white and most of the green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large potato, boiled, peeled and mashed, or 2 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
  • Salt
  • 1–2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, stemmed

Method

Blanch the fresh tomatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20 seconds, then remove and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Core, peel, halve, seed and dice the tomatoes. Drain in a colander set in the sink for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of warm water and let stand for 30 minutes.

Drain the sun-dried tomatoes and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Finely chop them.

In a small skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper or pepper flakes and remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, scallions and onion mixture. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add to the tomato mixture, along with the potato or potato flakes and season with salt to taste. Taste the mixture; if it is too acidic, add the sugar.

In a large skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil to 350°F. In batches, place tablespoonfuls of the tomato mixture in the skillet; do not crowd. Place 1 or 2 mint leaves on top of each patty and fry, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

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