This delicious recipe from renowned Australian chef George Calombaris’s cookbook “Greek” offers a nice way to eat from the middle of the table.
Lay out all the components separately and let everyone make their own. Any leftover salad makes a great lunch the next day.
“We must cook not only to fill our stomachs, but more importantly to fill our hearts and souls,” Calombaris says.
Calombaris is one of Australia’s top chefs and is equally recognized as one of the country’s favorite judges on MasterChef Australia, the highest rating program on local television. His hospitality group, MAdE Establishment, comprises 20 restaurants offering his signature Greek cuisine from premium through to casual dining with The Press Club, Hellenic Republic, Gazi, Jimmy Grants and Yo-Chi, respectively.
Away from his restaurant kitchens and television appearances in Australia, Calombaris mostly enjoys cooking the food that he grew up with — food made with love and designed to be shared.
In his cookbook, titled “Greek,” Calombaris shares his enthusiasm for all things Greek, always adding modern tweaks by stamping his own adventurous culinary spirit on traditional recipes.
* NOTE: This recipe serves four people
- 2 zucchini (courgettes)
- salt flakes
- 1 clove garlic, unpeeled
- 2–3 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
- 1 egg
- 1½ tablespoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- 2–3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- cracked pepper
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 4 small pita bread
- extra virgin olive oil, for brushing (Buy your Greek extra virgin olive oil here)
- ½ cup (80 g) burghul
- salt flakes
- large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (Buy your Greek extra virgin olive oil here)
- cracked pepper
- Grate the zucchini into a bowl. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and set aside for 1 hour, then place in the centre of a clean J-cloth or square of muslin and wring out any excess moisture.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced). Wrap the garlic clove in foil and roast for 10–15 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool, then remove the skin and crush the garlic.
- Combine the zucchini, garlic, mint, egg, cornflour, fennel seeds, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix very well by hand. Form the mixture into bite-sized balls, then place on a lined baking tray and rest in the fridge until needed.
- To make the burghul salad, place the burghul in a small saucepan with plenty of water and a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Combine the burghul, parsley, onion, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Add the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fryer to 180°C (or in a heavy-based saucepan until a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds). Add the zucchini keftedes in batches and cook for 7–8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season lightly with salt flakes.
- Brush the pita breads with olive oil and grill lightly on both sides.
- Spoon the salad onto each pita bread, then top with the keftedes. Roll up and serve.
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