A Medley of Roasted Potatoes Seasoned with Homemade Za’atar & Aleppo Pepper{A Perfect Side Dish for Thanksgiving}

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by Sara Hafiz on November 23, 2010

I don’t know about you but in my family we always make two separate potato side dishes for our Thanksgiving Dinner. Mashed potatoes are a must but a roasted potatoes side dish is  always present on the menu. I think my mom started making a roasted potatoes for my dad who is not too fond of mashed potatoes. Not yours truly, I can live on mashed potatoes, love the creamy, buttery mashed spuds.

Even though I love the mashed spuddy goodness, I have grown to love roasted potatoes as well. So this year I am in charge of a roasted potato side dish for our Thanksgiving Dinner. I started thinking about this roasted potato side dish and wanted to give it some unique flavors. I wanted to give my roasted potatoes a One Tribe Gourmet touch and wanted it to be the best potato dish anyone had ever had. I’m ALL about using the best  ingredients in my recipes, I have been known to drive for hours so I can buy that one perfect ingredient. I know I’m crazy, but I’m afraid there’s no cure for my madness. :roll:

I knew I wanted to use a few different varieties of gourmet potatoes. I used organic purple & red French fingerling potatoes, also I used a golden round variety called, Buttercream. For the seasoning of the potatoes, I started thinking about Middle Eastern flavors. I was in Morocco & Turkey this past June and brought back a suitcase full of spices from Fes Medina and The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul.

I started to think about one of my favorite Middle Eastern spice mix called Za’atar. I made a homemade version of  Za’atar spice mixture of sumac, dried thyme, sesame seeds & sea salt. I wanted to give my roasted potato side dish a spicy taste so I decided to add Aleppo pepper, a chili pepper originates from northern Syria, near the town of Aleppo, which is considered one of the culinary meccas of the Mediterranean. It has a moderate heat level with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones, with a hint of a vinegar, salty taste. I also added fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to the potatoes & roasted them on a high heat for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen November 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Those potatoes are such gem. I knw a crazy thing to say about potatoes but they look SO good. For the most part I would just look at them!

I have infinite love for Zaatar and am always up for finding ways to use it. Garlic and Zaatar pair exceptionally well together so I’m thinking Garlic zaatar roasted potatoes similar to Garlic Zaatar chicken I made recently. Oh GOd am I talking too much ? I normally do when I see good food :D

Sara November 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

yum, Kulsum you got me thinking about garlic & za’atar roasted chicken! :)

Nadia November 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I love that you make two potato sides, I agree you can’t not have mashed! But, these are gorg! It’s such a great idea to make your own za’atar, I bought a huge bag from the Middle Eastern store and I have yet to finish it, even though I use it a lot.

and you know I always love your photos!

Prerna@IndianSimmer November 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Oh nice Sara! Barbara really did a great job with your website. It looks great! And DO I really need to say anything about those stunning potatoes? Mmm Mmm Mmm :-)

tasteofbeirut November 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Now that is a dish I would eat so much of I would not leave any for anybody else! great too to use the leftovers for scrambled eggs and potatoes!

Sara November 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Thanks Joumana, Nadia, & Prerna! xo

Jamie November 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Wow homemade Za’atar is fabulous! And I have grown to love roasted potatoes and I will definitely spice them this way next time. Love the purple potatoes. Beautiful dish. I want to come to your Thanksgiving meal.

Deeba November 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I love that you did home made Za’atar…you are fabulous Sara! How wonderful this dish is!

Sara November 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Thank you Lovely Deeba & Jamie! You guys are welcome to come over any time! I mean it! :) xo

nina November 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I have been looking for a new potato recipe, not quite knowing what I was looking for exactly. I just knew that when I see it, I will know: “This is it!” Well, I will look no further, this is definitely it!!!

Bria November 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Love this dish. I use za’atar in my cooking a lot, too. You’re right–it is particularly good with roasted vegetables.

marla {family fresh cooking} November 27, 2010 at 12:45 am

I would go with these roasted potatoes way before the mash. Those purple ones are beautiful. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful :) xo

LimeCake November 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I love za’atar very much! Such beautiful colours in this dish. Very fall.

Sara November 27, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Thank you Marla, Bria & LimeCake~ Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xo

Lael Hazan @educatedpalate November 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I need you to teach me photography. Your photos are always mouthwatering, and then I read your posts…… The colors of the fingerlings are terrific and I had never thought of making homemade za’atar. Thanks for the lesson.

Joy November 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Sara these potatoes just pop out at me and scream EAT ME NOW what beautiful colors and textures!!

Hope oyu had a wonderful Thanksgiving love, beautiful pictures :)

Sara November 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

Thank you Lael & Joy! Hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Soma November 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I would have this roasted potatoes over mashed potatoes any day. We haven’t seen the purple potatoes yet this year. I am going to use zatar and sesame. I make the potatoes with sumac and I am loving the sesame in this dish.

Sara December 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Thanks Soma! Purple potatoes are quite tasty! We have them at Wegmans, Wholefoods & Fresh Market!

Melody Fury December 2, 2010 at 1:09 am

Beautiful! I love. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

Magic of Spice December 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Those potatoes look amazing :)

Lani January 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I would love to make this recipe. I have been wanting to get Aleppo pepper for some time now. Where can I get it? Thanks.

Steve Moore April 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Had these potatoes last weekend – fabulous! They accompanied a lamb chop recipe in which the lamb was marinated with green herbs and spices and served with a zingy harissa (harissa on steroids!) – the potatoes held up well to the lamb, both complementing each other. Great recipe!

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