Friday, June 28, 2013

Mediterranean Braised Garlic & Herb Potatoes - Low Fat

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I know, I know!!  You wouldn't believe that these little beauties are actually low fat, I'm serious. Totally!  I had not even thought about these for a very long time to be honest.  They are an old family favorite.  I grew up eating these at least 3-4 times a month.  We all would gather around the kitchen table and the moment we would see that these potatoes were being served, well, we would just shriek with delight!

I remembered them the other afternoon when my two youngest skyped me from the island of Samos.  They were eating their dinner at a Taverna Ala Fresko with the Aegean sea directly behind them and I could just see the beginning of the gorgeous violet/orange sunset.  After showing me the scenery, they continued eating.  These potatoes were what they were eating along with meatballs and a salad.  They said to me; "Mom, these are the potatoes you make for us"! I just giggled and then made them for hubby the very next day!  That man of mine is so spoiled!

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I cannot tell you if these potatoes are strictly regional to my island, or there is a version of them all over Greece.  I can tell you though, they are so very easy to make, less than 20 minutes.  They are crispy, bursting with Mediterranean flavor and so very, very easy!! Did I mention low fat?  Ah yes... The "Mediterranean diet" the best in the world!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 4-5 side servings

3 large potatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp lemon juice (I used bottled)
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cups water
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped or herbs of choice ( or 3/4 tsp dried)
Salt & pepper to taste

-Wash and scrub your potatoes.  I leave the skin on for extra potassium, however you can definitely peel them if you prefer.
Slice them into rounds and set aside.

-Crush your garlic, set aside, chop your fresh herbs, set aside.

-Using a large skillet with cover, add your water and oil and bring to a simmer.  

-Add your potato rounds one layer at a time.  At the end of each layer, salt & pepper to season.  Add the next potato layer etc.

-When all potatoes have been layered, add your crushed garlic, lemon juice and finally your fresh herbs.  I used fresh mint.  There is just something about lemon, garlic and mint combined.  Those flavor combinations are just perfect!!  Well maybe I'm biased...
Use your own favorite, even though I do seriously promote mint!

*batting eyelashes profusely*
Cover, reduce heat to low and let potatoes braise.

-After about 10 minutes or so, check the status of the potatoes, they should be perfectly tender and the water should be absorbed.  I personally taste one at this point... *what*  How else am I supposed to taste for seasonings?  See??

-Now is when the magic starts to happen.  Leaving the cover off the skillet, let these beauties start to crisp up.  It should only take a couple of minutes.  Flip the potatoes, and then let crisp now on the other side.  Again, just a few minutes.  

How easy right?  I know!  Remove from heat and enjoy! 

I remember my mother made these without cheese, and my grandmother would sprinkle a little bit of "Kefalograviera Cheese", once they were cooked.  The heat of the potatoes would melt the cheese and just make them ultra yummy!  I can't tell you which one I liked better to be very honest with you.  All I can tell you is they are absolutely delicious and I enjoyed every bite!! The good news is I have now shared this recipe with you, so you can also duplicate and add your own touch if you want!

Notes: The key to this recipe is 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of lemon juice per potato.  My mother always taught me to use 1/2 cups water per 3 potatoes.  You can double the recipe if so desired. Just make sure you have a large "Walton Family" size skillet for more potatoes to ensure they all crisp up.

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Crispy, succulent and bursting with Mediterranean flavor!!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. So now I'm beginning to believe I have Greek, Jewish, Porteuguese and Italian taste buds. What a great combo to have. Making these for sure dolly, once I get the mint. The boss says, "mint", I buy mint! Love ya Deeds, great post

    1. Linda dolly there is just something magical with the mint!!

  2. Oh I am so going to make these! Which on is "your island?" Ours is Myteline (off the island of Lesbos). Our family is more than certain there's some Turkish blood in the mix.

    1. Alex that is too funny, you're an island girl too?
      I am from the island of Samos. We are right next to Turkey.

    2. You probably have some of that Turkish blood too!

  3. Haha.. Didi.. You want some mint? I have a huge mint bed. ;)

    But really.. why did I never think to add water to potatoes to cook them faster.. Genius I say.. I will definitely be making these.. with mint. ;) ♥

    1. Don't start with the mint, LOL

      I know you will love these Kimmie!!

  4. They sound delicious. I'd add some butter to help them brown. Low-fat isn't really healthy, anyway, & butter is good for us! I like the idea of trying mint & lemon with garlicky potatoes.

    1. Hi Anonymous, I love the idea of butter. I've always cooked these with olive oil same as my parents and grandparents...
      I will have to try these with a pat or so of butter. Thank you!

  5. Didi,I agree with you about the lemon, garlic and dried mint. Your potato dish looks so tempting......Hadia's Lebanese Cuisine

    1. Hadia, our foods and cultures are so very similar! ♥