I love keftethes. As long as I can remember, they were a staple in my home growing up and I continue to make them often for my own family. They taste delicious cold or warm – plain or slathered in tzatziki sauce. Yes, they are fried and, as health conscious as we are today, there are some foods we simply cannot resist. But what if I combined the delicious mixture of herbs and spices and formed them into a patty that didn’t require frying? The result was a hit!
1 pound chopped meat
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, grated
4 slices of white bread, dampened in water (no crust)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano
¼ cup of fresh mint or basil or combination of both
Splash of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
This is the exact recipe for keftethes with one exception. I’ve added ¼ cup of breadcrumbs for a little extra firmness. Otherwise, these patties might be prone to falling apart on the grill. Normally, this mixture of ingredients would be formed into meatballs, rolled in flour and fried. No frying necessary! Combine all of the ingredients, mixing well. Form into hamburger-sized patties and place in the refrigerator to set. Grill and serve on pita bread (preferably lightly grilled as well) and garnish with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and a generous amount of tzatziki sauce.
2 cups Greek yogurt
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
4 Tbs. white wine vinegar
3 Tbs. olive oil
½ tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. fresh dill or 1Tbs. dried
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. sugar
2 cucumbers – peeled, cored from seeds and finely grated. Press through strainer to dry. *The cucumber will make the sauce loose and runny if you skip this step.
Mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Chill before serving. Serve with souvlaki or keftethes. It also makes a refreshing dip. Make this a day ahead and the flavors will intensify.