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Playing Loaded Oven Fries With Tahini Yogurt + Nuts

Chef Yotam Ottolenghi shares a fun and creative twist on loaded fries from his new book, Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things, which he wrote with the head of his test kitchen, Noor Murad. 

"This is an alternative take on loaded seaside fries, where the cheesy sauce is replaced with tahini yogurt and the bacon bits with smoky sweet nuts. It's no less decadent, however, and is a great one to dig into and share. We roast the potatoes here instead of frying them, tossing them with added starch to give them that crisp exterior; be sure to serve them soon after they're cooked, as they tend to lose their crispness if they sit for too long." —Yotam and Noor 

Pro Tip: Double up on the smoky sweet nuts, if you like. They are particularly good spooned onto dips, like hummus or labneh, or any roasted vegetables (don't forget the tahini sauce!). Store them in a sealed container at room temp for up to two weeks. 

For another recipe by Yotam and Noor, check out their Parmigiana Pie with Tomato Sauce


For the Oven Fries:
  • 2 pounds 2 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, unpeeled and cut lengthwise into roughly ½-inch-thick sticks
  • 2 teaspoons rice flour or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ cup cilantro or parsley stems (or a mixture of both), finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the Smoky Sweet Nuts:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa chile
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo chile
  • ½ teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Salt
For the Tahini Yogurt:
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Salt


Serves: 4, as a side dish


Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

For the fries, on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the rice flour, oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Spread out so they're not overlapping, then cover the sheet tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes, for the potatoes to steam and soften slightly. Remove the foil, turn the heat up to 425°F and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to gently flip the fries over and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until nicely golden and crispy. 

Meanwhile, place the cilantro stems in a small bowl with the vinegar. Set aside to pickle gently while you continue with the recipe. 

For the nuts, put the oil into a small frying pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pine nuts and almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted and nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the nigella seeds, Urfa and Aleppo chiles, paprika, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 

For the tahini yogurt, put all the ingredients into a bowl with ¼ teaspoon of salt and whisk until smooth. Add another 1 tablespoon of water, if needed (it will thicken as it sits). 

To serve, transfer the fries to a plate and drizzle all over with the tahini yogurt. Spoon on the nut mixture, followed by the pickled cilantro stems and their liquid.

Excerpted from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad. Copyright © 2022 by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.