Potatoes with tomatoes and feta is a lovely Turkish dish. The addition of black olives, onions, garlic, cumin seeds, and Aleppo pepper give it lots of flavor without being super spicy. A squeeze of lemon or a dollop of yogurt adds just enough sour tanginess to perfectly finish the dish.
The Turks are passionate about their cuisine. I’ve found that it gives them pleasure to share it with you and it is their generous hospitality that draws me to the country again and again.–Ghillie Basan
Potatoes with Tomatoes and Feta
- 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 (8 oz) red onions quartered and sliced along the grain
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cumin seeds crushed
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or 1 fresh red chile, deseeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
- 12 to 16 pitted black olives
- 4 ounces beyaz peynir* or feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- To a medium saucepan, add the potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender but not soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain and refresh under cold running water, then peel off the skins and cut the potatoes into thick slices.
- In a heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of the oil, stir in the onions and garlic and cook until soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the cumin seeds, Aleppo pepper or chile, and most of the oregano—reserve a little for the top—then stir in the sugar, vinegar, and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the potatoes and olives in a baking dish and spoon the tangy tomato mixture over them. Crumble the peynir or feta on top and sprinkle with the reserved oregano. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then bake until the potatoes are tender and the feta is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Serve hot, with lemon wedges to squeeze over.
*What is beyaz peynir?A brined cheese, which is more common in the Middle East—like feta, halloumi, sirene, or tulum cheeses— beyaz peynir is produced from unpasteurized cow, sheep, or goat milk. It’s produced in a variety of styles from mild, immature cheese curds to a quite strong, mature version. Curds are pressed, chopped, and strained before being soaked in salty brine for at least 6 months.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These potatoes with tomatoes and feta turned out to be a tasty potato dish filled with interesting flavors. I served it with pomegranate & sumac chicken. They actually worked very well together. Perhaps, the Aleppo pepper, common to both recipes, helped with that.
I learned a new way to prepare potatoes when they are approximately the same size, as these were. I followed the directions, leaving the potatoes whole and unpeeled. I put them in a saucepan of cold water, and after bringing them to a boil, it took 13 minutes for them to become tender. The skins came off easily, and the consistency of the potatoes was perfect. The outsides weren't mushy which is the case when I peel potatoes and boil them to make dishes like potato salad.
This was great with the sumac chicken, and I think that this would be wonderful with many chicken dishes, (roast chicken anyone?), as well as pork.
I read the recipe for potatoes with tomatoes and feta and was intrigued as I’m always looking for new side dishes. I wasn’t certain if I'd like it but I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious flavors that truly melded together. The savory potatoes with onions & herbs, the sweet tomato mixture, and the salty feta all together were so flavorful.
I made a baked chicken thigh main that complemented the potato dish perfectly. I wouldn’t really change anything except perhaps trying different olives. It was a very straightforward and easy to prepare recipe that packed a flavorful punch.
Originally published July 23, 2021