The first getaway trip Lu and I took together as a couple was to Santorini and Mykonos, in Greece. When we arrived at our hotel on Santorini, it was late at night, but we were ravenous from almost 20 hours of traveling. We dropped our bags and walked a few minutes to a small nearby spot and asked for “anything Santorinian.” The waitress brought us tomatokeftedes — fried tomato balls. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or the excitement, but I will never forget that first bite. Of course, we devoured them and ordered more. For the rest of our stay on Santorini we never ate at a restaurant without ordering their tomatokeftedes. These healthy tomato balls are my way of bringing a bit of Santorini to you. — Ali Maffucci, Insprialized
This recipe also works with zucchini, kohlrabi, chayote, and jicama.
Reprinted from Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals. Copyright © 2015 by Ali Maffucci. Photos by Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, scallion, water, mint, oregano, flour, cheese, and some salt and pepper. Using your hands to partially crush the tomatoes, combine the ingredients until the mixture is thick and sticky. (If needed, add more flour and/or water.) Form tomatokeftedes about the size of a golf ball; you should have about 6. Place them on the baking sheet and press down slightly to form patties. Bake for 10 minutes, flip them over, and bake for another 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned on the outside and firm.
Pat dry the cucumber noodles to remove moisture. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until rice-like. Add the onion, parsley, mint, some salt and pepper, lemon juice, and zest to the food processor and pulse until well combined.
Whisk the yogurt, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, dill, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Combine the cucumber noodles and the tabouleh mixture in a large bowl and toss to blend well. Divide into serving bowls and top with hot tomato balls. Drizzle over the tzatziki sauce and serve.