Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

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I am a sucker for fries. I wanted to try a new method for making them crispy. So the other night, I tried the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for oven fries. The result was super crispy fries with a bit less guilt since they are baked. Her trick is to boil the potatoes first and then roast them at a high temperature. Easy, peasy!

But I wanted to make something a bit different to top the fries. So, I sautéed fresh oregano, finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Just for a bit until the oregano became aromatic. Then I mixed it with the crumbled feta. This turned out to be delicious! Not only on fries, but also on toast or crackers. So please give it a try!

This recipe serves 2.

For the fries:

½ kilo of potatoes (that will hold its shape like Russet), scrubbed and thinly sliced.

About ¼ cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the feta topping:

200gr of crumbled feta

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped

Leaves of 4 fresh oregano stems, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Cayenne to taste

A pinch of salt (optional, but not too much because the feta is already salty)

3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

 

Thinly slice the scrubbed potatoes, and boil about 2 litters of water.

Preheat your oven to 230C/450F.

Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot and add the boiling water. Let the potatoes boil for 7 minutes.

In the meanwhile, line your baking tray with aluminum foil and pour the ¼ cup of olive oil into the tray. Swirl it around so that all of the surface of the tray is coated with olive oil.

Place the tray in the oven to heat up.

Drain the potatoes. Then place them in a single layer on the hot baking tray. It is important that they are in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them, otherwise they won’t get crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Roast them for 20 minutes. Then toss them, and finish roasting them for an extra 10 minutes.

To make the feta topping, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the oregano, preserved lemon, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then remove it from the heat and add it to the crumbled feta. Mix well. Taste for salt.

To serve, just top the fries with the flavored feta. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and enjoy!

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Salade Nicoise with a Parsley-Anchovy Vinaigrette

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This is my take on the traditional salad nicoise. I make it with seared tuna, quinoa instead of potatoes and I take the anchovies out of the salad and incorporate them into the dressing by making a parsley-anchovy vinaigrette. This is one of my go-to salads when I feel like something healthy but also filling. And now that summer is in full swing, a nice salad is very welcome. Especially one that won’t have me going through to the candy drawer (Yes, I have a deliciously filled candy and savory snacks drawer in my living room) 30 minutes later because I’m still hungry.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

½ cup of quinoa

100gr of Kalamata olives

A big handful of green beans

8 tomatoes, sliced (I used a mix)

3 soft boiled eggs

300gr of fresh tuna

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Garlic powder

Lemon pepper (optional)

Cayenne (optional)

For the anchovy-parsley vinaigrette:

5 tablespoons of chopped parsley

8 anchovies, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the quinoa first. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Then start making the vinaigrette. You can place all of the ingredients in the food processor and just pulse until you get your desired consistency. Or you can just chop the parsley and anchovies together. Then place them in a jar with the rest of the ingredients, cover with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies.  Set aside until ready to use.

Sautee the green beans in a pan with some olive oil, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt and black pepper. Do this until they become tender- crisp.

Place the eggs in a pot with boiling water and boil them for 7 minutes.

To sear the tuna, just season it with salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne. Pour a bit of olive oil in a pan, over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot; just place the tuna and sear it for a few seconds on each side. This is where you want to be quick turning it, because it cooks pretty fast (Unless you want it well done).

Once the tuna is seared, transfer it to a cutting board and thinly slice it.

To plate up, divide the quinoa into 3 plates. Add the green beans, black olives and tomatoes. Then add the soft boiled eggs sliced in half, the tuna and finish by drizzling some of the vinaigrette.

Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Parsley-Anchovy Vinaigrette

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I had never been a fan of eating raw tomatoes until we started growing our own last year. We planted yellow cherry tomatoes and they were so delicious I could just snack on them without putting anything on them. This year we planted yellow ones, red ones and wild ones, which are really small. A simple salad was the best way to use our first ones of the season, so we could really taste them. The yellow ones have a nice sweetness to them and the tiny wild ones are a bit more acidic.  We cut the tomatoes out of the plant just 5 minutes before making this salad. It doesn’t get fresher than that. This recipe has only a few ingredients so it’s very important to get good tomatoes and good quality mozzarella. This recipe serves 2.

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Ingredients:

3 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 ball of buffalo mozzarella

Crusty bread for serving

For the vinaigrette:

8 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

4 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

Juice of 1 lime

5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Pepper

 

For the vinaigrette, just chop the anchovy fillets and the parsley (you could also use the food processor if you don’t feel like chopping). Put in a bowl and whisk in the juice of 1 lime, the olive oil and white vinegar. Add pepper and taste. I don’t like to add any salt because the anchovies are quiet salty already.

Break the mozzarella in smaller chunks, divide between two plates and sprinkle some freshly ground pepper. Arrange half of the tomatoes on each plate. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve with crusty bread.