Fried potatoes, French fries style, are topped with chopped tomato, onion, olives and cheese. Sprinkled with chopped fresh rosemary and drizzled with fresh lemon juice, Greek-inspired fries make a lovely snack or side dish.
I wouldn’t call it a Greek dish. The recipe that inspired it was written by someone with a Greek name but even he admits that what makes the dish “Greek” are the “earthy flavors used for the topping and seasoning; Greek ingredients that you will find in every mom’s kitchen.”
And while the recipe that inspired this snack (or side dish) includes feta among the toppings, I used native white cheese made from carabao’s milk which we call kesong puti. I also added olives for more color to make up for the lack of red onions in my kitchen right now.
In short, there is no claim on authenticity here. Purists can press strips of tape from their foreheads down to their eyes to prevent their eyebrows from shooting up.
Lack of authenticity aside, this dish that I have christened Greek-inspired fries is wonderful. I never imagined that a little fresh lemon juice can make fried potatoes so tasty.
Start by scooping out and discarding the centers of the tomatoes. That’s where most of the liquid is and you want to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Otherwise, the fries will turn soggy fast once the toppings are scattered over them.
Once you’ve removed the centers of the tomatoes, cut them into small cubes.
Peel a small onion and cut into the same size as the tomatoes.
Next come the olives. Black or green? I used black but green should be fine too.
Cut the cheese into small cubes. Toss with the tomatoes, onion and olives. Set aside while you fry your potatoes.
Assemble the Greek-inspired fries. Pile the fried potatoes in a shallow bowl and scatter the tomato-onion-olives-cheese mixture around them. Sprinkle in chopped fresh rosemary and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- 2 to 3 plump tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 8 pitted olives
- 125 grams cheese (I used kesong puti or carabao milk cheese)
- 2 large potatoes
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary stripped and chopped
Halve the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the centers. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes.
Peel the onion and cut into the same size as the tomato pieces.
Roughly chop the olives.
Cut the cheese into thin slices then cut each slice into small cubes.
In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, onion, olives and cheese cubes. This is your topping. Set it aside for now.
Prepare the potatoes for French fries and fry in plenty of hot oil (see the step-by-step instructions).
Pile the fried potatoes in a shallow bowl and scatter the topping around them.
Sprinkle chopped rosemary over the potatoes and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
1. Don't have rosemary? Try basil chiffonade.
2. Point out to everyone that the lemon wedges aren't ornamental. Squeeze lemon juice over the potatoes before eating.
3. You can't eat this with your fingers. Use forks.