A little East and a little West and a lot of delicious
1/2 teaspoon each black pepper and red pepper flakes
Juice of one large lemon and lemon zest (1 tablespoon)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley and black or Kalamata olives
Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Crumbled or diced Feta, Blue cheese or Halloumi cheese
Ground sumac or za’atar (to taste)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Toss the potatoes and onions in a bowl with the garlic, olive oil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Spread on a cooking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake for 40-50 minutes until potatoes and onions are golden brown and crispy, tossing occasionally; remove from oven.
Transfer potatoes and onions to a bowl or tray and top with the sujuk, parsley, olives, tomatoes and choice of cheese; toss and sprinkle with sumac or za’atar and lemon juice, if desired. Serve with Middle Eastern Salsa on the side. Toasted garlic bread, pita bread or Armenian lavosh or cracker bread may be served as an accompaniment.
Middle Eastern Salsa
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 Persian cucumbers, chopped or diced (with peel)
1 medium green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 medium red or white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lime and one lemon (to taste)
2-3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon red vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
Fresh chopped mint
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Check seasonings. Cover and chill salsa before serving.
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Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno, California and lives in Las Vegas. She is a graduate of California State University, Fresno (CSUF),
and holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Mass Communications. She has been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines.