LOADED SHAWARMA-SPICED FRIES WITH LEMONY TAHINI & CRUNCHY VEG SALAD

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Whatever your stance on sports, Superbowl parties are generally great and the food is a major part of their appeal. I was thinking about my ideal sports-watching snack and kept circling back to the idea of oven-roasted fries with lots of fresh toppings. One of my super quick weeknight moves is to roast whatever vegetables I’m into at the time with Montreal steak seasoning blend. As the name suggests, the blend is designed for meat, but it definitely tastes incredible on broccoli, potatoes, lots of things. Steak spice, hold the steak! It’s a thing.

Then, my friend sent me this restaurant’s Instagram page that featured shawarma-spiced fries (among many other delights–guess I gotta head back to Philadelphia soon!). Super peppery and warm shawarma spices on fries was pretty much all I could think about for two weeks.

So now we’re here and of course I got my fries PLUS lemony tahini, a crunchy veg salad with chickpeas, and a cheesy sesame-based sprinkle to finish it all off. There’s so much flavour going on here! Fully loaded as they say.

All of the components of this recipe are simple to prepare, but there is a bit of chopping involved that could take up some time. Just something to be aware of. You get nice bits of well-seasoned and caramelized potato wedges with a slick of zesty and creamy tahini sauce and some crunchy vegetables in the mix. The perfect meal if you’re feeling a snack-y vibe. The shawarma-spiced fries with tahini sauce alone are worth the effort, seriously.

If you’re planning other game day snacks, may I also suggest my caramelized onion dip, vegan butternut queso, seven layer dip with Buffalo refried beans, sticky and crispy sesame cauliflower, or my spicy pepperoncini, artichoke & kale dip. Go team!

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LOADED SHAWARMA-SPICED FRIES WITH LEMONY TAHINI AND CRUNCHY VEG SALAD

Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 4
NOTES: I tried straight forward roasting as well as par-boiling the potatoes with baking soda before roasting. The baking soda ones were a bit crispier, but ultimately not worth the fuss involved–especially given all of the other components involved in the recipe. If you want to try the par-boil, I followed these instructions (using avocado oil instead of animal-based fats).
-I’ve seen pre-blended shawarma spice at some supermarkets and also at Bulk Barn (for my Canadian friends). I made my own following this recipe, and it is so, so delicious.
-I have a spice/coffee grinder that I use for spices and small batches of vegan “parm” or other cheesy and sprinkly things. This one (affiliate link) is very similar to the one that I have.

FRIES:
4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon shawarma spice blend (see headnote)
sea salt, to taste

VEG SALAD:
¾ cup diced cucumber
¾ cup diced fresh tomatoes
¼ cup diced red onion
1 roasted red pepper, diced
10 kalamata olives, halved
handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup cooked chickpeas
½ teaspoon shawarma spice (see headnote)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste

LEMONY TAHINI:
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup filtered water
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

CHEESY SESAME SPRINKLE:
1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
1 ½ teaspoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon onion powder
big pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch thick wedges and transfer them to the baking sheet. Toss them with the oil, shawarma spice blend, and salt. Space the potatoes out so that each wedge has about an inch of space. Place potatoes in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown, flipping them at the halfway point.

While potatoes are roasting, make the veg salad. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, roasted red pepper, olives, parsley, chickpeas, shawarma spice, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Toss to combine and set aside.

Make the lemony tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Once combined and seasoned to your liking, set aside.

Lastly, make the cheesy sesame sprinkle. In a spice grinder, combine the sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, onion powder and salt. Pulse the grinder a few times until you have a fine meal. Set aside.

Build the loaded shawarma-spiced fries. On a platter, arrange the shawarma-spiced fries in a single layer. Drizzle the fries with the lemony tahini. Spoon the crunchy veg salad on top, ensuring that you strain off the excess liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Finish the loaded shawarma-spiced fries with the cheesy sesame sprinkle and extra chopped parsley if you like.

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  • supal // @supaldesai_29/01/2020 - 10:05 am

    OMG loaded fries, but BETTER.ReplyCancel

  • Vittoria29/01/2020 - 3:46 pm

    These look amazing! It made me think of one of my go-to dinners for the past year, Epicurious’s shawarma-spiced tofu pitas – you crumble and roast the tofu so it is a great texture with all the delicious warm spices. Amazing on its own or would be a great add to these fries.ReplyCancel

  • Lizbeth30/01/2020 - 5:44 am

    This looks delicious but isn’t this the wrong time of year for tomatoes and cucumber ? How about a more seasonal choice?ReplyCancel

    • Laura30/01/2020 - 9:09 am

      Hi there,
      We have access to hot house-grown cherry tomatoes and cucumbers where I live and their flavour is surprisingly pretty great. It’s a nice supplement to all the cabbage and potatoes ;)
      -LReplyCancel

    • Helen A04/02/2020 - 5:55 am

      Here in Australia they are seasonal…so it gets my vote.
      Cheers from the Southern Hemisphere and smokey Sydney.ReplyCancel

  • Tracy30/01/2020 - 2:09 pm

    If you decide to come to Philly, I would be more than grateful to give you a vegan food tour!ReplyCancel

  • Celina30/01/2020 - 5:02 pm

    “…at Bulk Barn (for my Canadian friends)” Thanks for this : )
    These not only look fabulous, there are so many veggies and healthy oils that I wouldn’t feel as guilty as I would with regular loaded fries. I have made a variety of recipes from your The First Mess Cookbook and have not found one yet that I didn’t just adore.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley01/02/2020 - 1:51 pm

    This hits all my flavor and texture buttons, I can’t wait to make this! I just made the kale, artichoke, pepperonici dip for a girls’ night and everyone raved about it. As always, your recipes are delicious, easy to make, and fun – thank you!

    Also, the recipes for Goldie Falafel’s falafel and tehina shakes are in Israeli Soul by Michael Solomonov. I haven’t tried either yet, but have my eye on them. I have tried his sabich recipe (using TJ’s amba sauce) and oh wow! It’s messy (or maybe that’s me) but so good.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine01/02/2020 - 2:58 pm

    I made a slightly tweaked version of this tonight and it was sooooo good! Thanks Laura, I’ll be making it again. My tip, increase the quantities of the dressing and sprinkle to use for other dishes in the coming days.ReplyCancel

  • Taylor02/02/2020 - 10:18 pm

    I made these for Super Bowl Sunday and they were amazing!!! So incredibly delicious and everyone just LOVED them. 100% will make again!!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie14/02/2020 - 11:19 am

    Holy shit this was good! We aren’t vegan so my husband added some feta to the veggies. Other than that we made it as is and will be making it again soon!ReplyCancel

  • Aline15/02/2020 - 9:46 am

    I can’t believe how good this is! I have no idea which of the components made the dish, but how everything came together is just so freaking good!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Noa17/02/2020 - 11:06 pm

    This was so good. I’ll definitely try it with the salad in the summer, but for now served it with loads of sumac onions and harrisa. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Sue24/02/2020 - 8:10 pm

    Laura, thanks for this delicious and fun recipe. We loved It!ReplyCancel

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