For this year’s Readers’ Choice Week, we asked our readers to prove their cooking prowess by sharing their best recipes with us—and dang, you guys are good. These are the five winning recipes—and the story behind the cooks who created them. Today, Kleopatra Kivrakidou shares her recipe for spring onion fritters, also called kremmudokeftedes.
Kremmudokeftedes. Don’t get tripped up by the amount of letters in the name of this fritter. It comes from Greece, and the ingredients can vary depending on where you are in the country. But it’s actually a very simple food. And the only thing better than simple Greek food is a story about how a recipe made its way down the family tree and landed at the feet of a curious cook.
Reader Kleopatra Kivrakidou’s iteration comes from the village Krokos (also famous for Greek saffron), where she grew up, and discovered her love of cooking, which she showcases through recipes from her homeland and beyond on her blog Kitchen Habits. This fritter recipe was passed down from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother, and eventually to her. But her recipe is different. “I actually misunderstood what my mother told me,” admits Kivrakidou, who now lives in the Netherlands. “My variation was a mistake.”
In her great-grandmother’s original recipe, just the green leaves of the onion were used, but Kivrakidou accidentally used the entire spring onion (including the white bulb), which ended up giving more moisture and sweet, onion-y goodness to the fritter. She also changed the spearmint in the original recipe to dill.
“These fritters should be eaten when spring onions are in season, in spring and early summer, as an appetizer,” says Kivrakidou. She stresses that they’re all about fresh vegetables and simplicity. Herbs. Vegetables. Simple batter. It’s just a matter of mixing your onions, spices, and herbs in a batter made from eggs, flour, and baking powder. And then adding a little feta, and if we’re really going for a Greek home run (which we are) we’d serve it with a little tzatziki dipping sauce. The one ingredient not mentioned in our version of Kivrakidou’s recipe? A glass of ouzo (a Greek anise liquor). Although she says white wine will do just fine in a pinch.
If you’re concerned about eating too many of these things, which Kivrakidou totally gets, you can bake them in muffin tins or into a larger pie plate (which eliminates the frying altogether) until they’re golden brown on top and bottom. You won’t get quite the same cripiness though. Only a solid fry can do that.
Add kremmudokeftedes to your vocabulary. You will not regret it.