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Potatoes with Tomatoes and Feta

A terracotta dish filled with potatoes, feta, black olives, and tomatoes.
This tasty potato dish, patates bastısı, comes from western Anatolia. Traditionally baked in an earthenware dish, it makes a fabulous accompaniment to meat, poultry, or fish. You can also serve it on its own with a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of yogurt and a green salad.
Ghillie Basan

Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr 20 mins
Sides
Turkish
6 servings
229 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 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

Directions 

  • 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.

Notes

*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.