No More Boring Potatoes

 Potatoes are my afterthought.


After making the kids’ breakfast, mid-morning school snack, and packed lunch;

After coming up with some kind of after-school snack that’s wholesome, won’t make my car too messy, and will hold the kids until dinner;

After schlepping the kids to their various after-school activities and finally making it home (sometimes to breakfast dishes that still need to be done);

After figuring out what to make for a quick, easy, and nutritious main course for dinner;

Then and only then might I start thinking about potatoes. And I wouldn’t think about them very much. I usually just roast them with a little olive oil and salt. But I like potatoes because don’t they count both as a starch and a vegetable? Who really has time to make two side dishes during the week?

Everything changed when I came across a recipe for roasted potatoes with Za’atar by One Tribe Gourmet on the Food 52 blog, and now my potatoes have taken center stage—all for very little extra effort. Now they’re a gussied side for a weeknight dinner or a great addition to “fancier” meals.


I didn’t have time to make Za’atar so I bought it instead at a specialty market. (My kids have been crazy for Za’atar since our trip to Israel last summer.) You can modify or leave out the pepper depending on how you and your family like it.

 To learn more about Za’atar, check out David Lebovitz’s post, “A Visit to Aby Kassem Za’atar Farm” on his blog, David Lebovitz.


 A Medley of Roasted Potatoes with Homemade Za’atar & Aleppo Pepper by One Tribe Gourmet for Food 52

 2–3 lbs of potatoes, cut up. I used red & purple organic fingerling potatoes & golden round buttercream variety.

3–4 tablespoons Za’atar

2 tablespoons Aleppo Pepper (or to taste)

Juice of one lemon

3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Homemade Za’atar Recipe

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons sumac
1 tablespoon sea salt. Please Note: You can grind the Za’atar in a coffee grinder for a finer texture. I left it course for this recipe. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut up the potatoes into bite-sized pieces

In a bowl, mix the potatoes with Za’atar, Aleppo Pepper, lemon juice, & extra virgin olive oil.

Roast the potatoes in a baking dish for 40–50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender & golden brown.

 Serves 6


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13 Comments on No More Boring Potatoes

  1. David
    December 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Great story!! Makes me hungry!!!

  2. Tyrrell
    December 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Looks delicious. I have never even heard of Za’atar!

  3. Ellen
    December 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm (9 years ago)

    Mouth-watering! Can’t wait to try it. Where does one pick up Za’atar in SF?

    • Julie Levine
      December 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm (9 years ago)

      I know they carry it at Bi-Rite Market. I’ll look around at other markets and report back.

  4. Judy
    December 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm (9 years ago)

    I love Za’atar but never thought of using it on potatoes. Try hummus with za’atar- yum!

    • Julie Levine
      December 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm (9 years ago)

      Yes I agree – hummus with Za’atar is the best.

  5. Mark
    December 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm (9 years ago)

    Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Sophie
    December 9, 2013 at 6:26 am (9 years ago)

    I have never tasted Za’atar but am going to run right out and get some. I can’t wait to try this potato dish. What temp do you use for roasting?

    • Julie Levine
      December 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm (9 years ago)

      I roast mine anywhere between 400F and 425F. Let me know how they turn out. Thanks for reading!

  7. helene
    December 9, 2013 at 7:54 am (9 years ago)

    This sounds great. Love Za’atar but have not used it on potatoes. Will try it.
    Did I tell you we made the apple cake for Thanksgiving and that was the best dessert out of 8 we had.
    Thank you Julie !!!

    • tammy levine
      December 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm (9 years ago)

      sounds delicious. am not familiar with za’atar but will look for it in nyc!

    • Julie Levine
      December 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm (9 years ago)

      So glad the apple cake was a hit!

  8. Katie
    December 16, 2013 at 4:27 am (9 years ago)

    I’m making Z’atar and these potatoes Stat! Thanks Julie.


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