A much sought after appetizer served at all Greek taverns today. In the old days it was considered a poor man's' keftedes (meatballs), for the people who could not afford to buy meat. The mixture is very similar to the one for the crust-less pie, but needs to be drier, so squeeze more liquid out of the grated zucchini.
Makes 6 to 8 meze servings
• 4 cups grated zucchini (3-4 zucchini)
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 cup grated hard myzithra, kefalotyri, Pecorino Romano, or Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 - 1 cup toasted whole-wheat breadcrumbs
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
• 1 tablespoon Greek dried oregano
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil and safflower oil, for frying
• 1 cup thick Greek yogurt (optional) or tzatziki
Toss the zucchini and onion with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and let them drain in a colander for at least 1 hour. Squeeze handfuls of the mixture to extract as much water as possible.
In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, parsley, cheese, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, egg, basil, oregano, and pepper to taste.
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of a combination of olive and safflower oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.