Happy Monday!!! Or is that more of a question mark for you like it is for me??
The kids all went back to school this morning, and I must say, I’m bittersweet about it. I love getting back into the routine and, to be honest, having a few uninterrupted hours of the day to get things done. Or more like done…ish. But, somehow this spring break was so much more relaxed than the years past and all it did was remind me of the chill days of summer ahead. And now I’m seriously just counting down the days til school is out so that we can get back to THAT routine. Because something happened to me last summer and I don’t think I realized how big of a deal it was until recently, when we’ve had these little teasers of warmer weather. Last summer was the first one where I felt like I could completely relax down at the beach without having to run after kids to keep them out of the shoreline, or carry almost everything down by myself because it was too much for them to help with, or wonder if all 3 could handle being down there for the same amount of time without a meltdown of some sort from someone (me?)…
And now my body literally CRAVES those easy days, and being able to get on a board with one of the kids, or even myself alone knowing that I can stay close enough to shore to see everything that’s going on, but still have that peaceful silence in the air with nothing but the movement of the water. It’s become as much a part of my church as running is… And it’s right around the corner, I know. This weekend the temps here were in the lower 70’s and it was sunny, and the smell that the wind brought was of freshness and spring. So we are definitely heading down the right path to all the fun that summer brings. And I’m happy about that in a very big way!
Now on to these potatoes…
Growing up, my mom often made a side dish of what I only knew and still know as greek potatoes. They were simply quartered red and yellow potatoes baked in a broth of lemon juice, olive oil, chicken stock, herbs, and salt and pepper. You baked them for awhile, then took them out of the oven to baste them, and then baked them some more. And at the very end, you sprinkled feta chunks all over it to finish it off. It was one of my favorite sides she made and to this day a favorite of mine to make at least once a year. For whatever reason, spring seems to be the season that it comes to mind. Maybe because it goes perfectly with roasted lamb…
With Easter coming up this weekend, my mom and I have been going over our menu for this year. She’s of course grilling a leg of lamb because that’s our tradition. But when we were talking about sides I said ‘what about greek potatoes?’ to which she responded ‘YES!’. So we’re doing those two things with a huge salad, crusty bread, and the tart I shared with you last week for dessert. Done and done!
These greek hasselback potatoes are a spin off of our regular greek potato recipe. The flavors are all the same, they just look a little bit fancier! I used a sharp paring knife to cut them into their thin slices, but if you have a mandoline that would certainly save time. Two things…Remember to taste the greek mixture as you are mixing the ingredients to taste for salt, pepper, and tartness to your own taste. Also, remember to baste them throughout the cooking time so that the edges don’t dry out and they can get nice and golden. ENJOY!
Greek Hasselback Potato Gratin
- 3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
- chopped fresh oregano and chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the inside of a 9 inch pie plate or baking dish with a little bit of olive oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Using a very sharp knife, or a mandoline, slice the potatoes evenly into very thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick and place them into a large bowl. Pour the greek vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss with your hands to get some of the vinaigrette on both sides of each piece.
- Line the potato slices up vertically next to each other in the pie plate or baking dish leaving a tiny space between them. Pour the remaining vinaigrette from the bowl evenly over top of the potatoes, trying to get a little bit into each gap.
- Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully baste them with the juices from the bottom of the pan (if it's hard to find a space, just gently remove a couple of the potatoes onto a plate to find the juices, then simply put them back once you're done basting).
- Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes more. Remove from the oven to sprinkle the feta cheese all around and into some of the gaps. Bake for 5-10 minutes more or until the potatoes pierce easily with the point of a knife. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with the fresh oregano and chives. Serve warm. ENJOY!
- I like my potatoes to have a little crisp to them. If your potatoes are looking too brown to you throughout the cooking, you can brush them with a little bit of olive oil to help keep them from drying out, or cover them lightly with foil to speed along the cooking process!