Oven Fries with Lemony Green Dressing and Gruyere

My family is filled with french fry monsters.

Vertical image of a pile of fries with a vibrant sauce and shredded cheese, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Let me start from the beginning.

All throughout my childhood, and still to this day), my dad was the cook in the house. We both share the capabilities of a chef, but never had the desire to open a restaurant.

He spent years working in professional kitchens, practicing at home, and schooling himself through Julia Child. My mom, older sister, and I were his regular customers.

Well, and two Persian cats who really liked rosemary roasted chicken.

Since he was an excellent cook, our scratch-made meals at home were always filled with nourishing, healthy ingredients. Roasted veggies, mixed greens galore, fresh herbs on everything.

Vertical image of oil being poured into a bowl of potato slices with seasoning.

But when we were on vacation years ago visiting my sister in Hawaii, we stumbled upon a place that perfected the art of skinny fries. And it wasn’t a fancy French eatery that listed them on the menu as “frites.”

Instead, it was an outdoor burger dive with picnic tables, masterfully grilled mahi mahi sandwiches, and roosters that would steal your flip-flops if you weren’t looking.

Any other place where my family gathered around potatoes, we were happy to share. But when we dined at our quaint little gem on the North Shore, everyone got a basket to themselves.

No questions asked.

At the end of a warm tropical day when the sand is clinging to the back of your sunburnt legs, there’s nothing better than snuggling up to a mountain of stringy potato sticks.

I didn’t think I could even come close to replicating these salty strands, particularly via baking rather than frying, but I discovered that it’s all in the slicing.

When I’m making homemade French fries, I typically lean towards chunkier cuts that I shower in paprika, and pair with ketchup.

Vertical top-down image of a white plate with a pile of french fries next to a green sauce in a bowl on a towel.

That is, until I tried these thin baked fries with nutty Gruyere and a citrusy vinaigrette.

Let’s talk about that moment when freshly cut garlic hits hot french fries.

Hello, McFly. Anybody home?

Yep, it’s me. Melting into a puddle of happiness.

Many recipes call for you to toss the garlic with the potatoes at the start, but I think that’s a mistake.

To get a good crisp on them, fries need a crazy hot oven. But crazy hot ovens and fresh garlic aren’t exactly pals.

Since the potatoes need some time to cook through, if you load on the garlic in step one, by the time your fries have gotten their golden hue, your garlic has probably burned.

True fact: garlic is good in every form, except when it’s burnt.

Vertical image of part of a white plate with a pile of baked potato slices covered in sauce and cheese next to a bowl with green liquid.

Just as I like to do with my oven-roasted hash browns, I let the taters take on the majority of the heat, and then toss in the garlic closer to game time. This gives it a chance to soften and lose some of its sharpness.

Although you could call it a day after sprinkling on the garlic and parsley, why not take things a step further and call in some cheese?

I’m a sucker for Gruyere’s flavor profile. More mature Gruyere is assertive and earthy, while younger varietals are slightly buttery. Since this is a smooth-melting cheese, use whatever you can easily find.

If you’re willing to drop the extra pennies, however, the complex profile of aged Gruyere is worth every cent in comparison to a lower-quality product. We’re not making gooey cheese fries, after all, so you don’t need much.

The Gruyere is simply meant to accent the salty fries. Think of it like a bright teal bracelet that dresses up a long sweater and a pair of leggings. Wait, why isn’t there jewelry made of cheese… ?

Vertical close-up image of a pile of french fries covered in green dressing and shredded cheese.

I’m getting off track.

Let’s move onto the dressing. This ain’t green goddess, but it is packed with herbaceous notes and bright lemon, and brings a vibrant color to the dish.

The combination of the refreshing herby vinaigrette over the skinny fries marries my memories of Hawaii with the nutritious cuisine my dad still prepares today.

There’s no doubt that if I made these for my family, the french fry monsters in each of us would come out in full force, and we would all be transported right back to those picnic tables on the North Shore.

Ketchup and roosters not included.

Print
Horizontal image of a plate of fries covered in cheese and sauce.

Oven Fries with Lemony Green Dressing and Gruyere


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 small servings 1x

Description

Looking for tasty taters with a twist? Oven baked and drizzled with a bright vinaigrette, these salty skinny fries hit the spot.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rough chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 pounds), sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (such as vegetable, sunflower, or grapeseed oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Instructions

  1. 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  2. Add 4 tablespoons fresh parsley to a blender or food processor along with the spinach, chives, lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. With the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil Coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the sliced potatoes with the neutral oil, rosemary, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes onto the baking sheets in a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd them.
  5. Bake until the potatoes begin to crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the garlic evenly over the potatoes and toss to combine with tongs. Continue baking until the garlic has softened and the potatoes are lightly golden, about 10 more minutes.
  6. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, and the Gruyere. Serve immediately with the lemony green dressing.

  • Category: French Fries
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Appetizers

Keywords: french fries, oven-baked, lemon, Gruyere

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Chop and Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of a food processor with chopped fresh herbs and vegetables.

Rough chop 4 tablespoons of the fresh parsley, and the spinach and chives.

Measure out everything else that you will need for the recipe.

Step 2 – Make the Dressing

Horizontal image of a food processor with a pureed green sauce.

Add the greens to a blender or food processor along with the lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Pulse until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.

Step 3 – Slice into Matchsticks

Horizontal image of thinly sliced raw potatoes.

Slice a potato lengthwise into several slabs about ¼ inch thick with a long, sharp knife such as a chef’s knife.

Horizontal image of thinly sliced and matchstick-sliced potatoes.

Stack several of the slabs and then carefully run your knife through them in the opposite direction to make long, skinny sticks. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Step 4 – Toss with Oil and Seasonings

Horizontal image of oil pouring into a pile of seasoned potatoes.

In a large bowl, toss the sliced potatoes with the neutral oil, rosemary, and a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Step 5 – Bake

Horizontal image of unbaked potato matchsticks on a baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil, and spray with nonstick cooking oil spray.

In a single layer, spread the potatoes onto the baking sheets, making sure not to overcrowd them. If the potatoes are too close together, they’ll steam instead of crisping up.

Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes, and then remove the pans from the oven.

Step 6 – Toss with the Garlic and Bake

Horizontal image of baked french fries on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle the garlic evenly over the potatoes and toss to combine. Tongs come in handy for this.

Continue baking until the garlic has softened and the potatoes are lightly golden, about 10 more minutes.

Step 7 – Toss with Herbs and Cheese

Horizontal image of a bowl of cooked potato matchsticks with a pile of cheese on top.

Transfer the hot fries to a large bowl and toss them with 1/2 teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, and the Gruyere.

Serve immediately with some of the lemony green dressing drizzled over the top, and the rest on the side for dipping.

Fry Me to the Moon

Sure, deep-fried things are always delicious. Not gonna argue with you there. But when you opt for baking over frying, you don’t feel as bad about eating an entire basket of something.

Horizontal image of a white platter with a pile of matchstick potatoes with assorted toppings next to a bowl with a green sauce.

Hooray!

If you can’t get your hands on Gruyere, swap in another melty cheese like white cheddar or provolone. And don’t forget to save any leftover lemony dressing for quick weeknight salads.

Salad dressing on fries is the new salad. Here are some other tasty vinaigrette-dressed salad recipes that your taters can get down with too:

Horizontal close-up image of matchstick cooked potatoes covered with assorted garnishes.

Everyone has a go-to french fry dip. Are you a die-hard ketchup fan? Ranch nerd? Aioli addict? Hash it out in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 1, 2013 by Shanna Mallon. Last updated: June 11, 2019 at 14:51 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

29 thoughts on “Oven Fries with Lemony Green Dressing and Gruyere”

  1. I so feel you on wishing I wasn’t as sensitive. I used to think of my emotion as a flaw, but it can be a strength, too, as it enables us to be more compassionate and understanding if we embrace it that way. Much easier said than done, though. (Sometimes instead of embracing it, I simply put a wall up to avoid the swell, which is probably a bad habit.) Cheers to the goodness of 2013!

  2. (I’m sorry if this comment posts twice– I’m having internet connection trouble!) Thank you for doing this. Thank you for writing these thoughts and thank you so much for your friendship this year. I am so thankful for God intersecting our paths and I look forward to being friends in 2013. Happy New Year to you and Tim!

  3. thank you for such a lovely and thoughtful post. i hope your coming year is filled with compassion and kindness. if i strive to do anything in the new year it will be notice the “little” things more since they really aren’t little are they? and perhaps by being mindful of them and acknowledging a more graceful life can be lived. and from that perhaps comes the ability to be more mindful of others and extend to them the compassion and kindness they need.

    i wish i had a kindle so i could download the book but alas i do not.

    take care of yourselfs and have blessed new year.

    • Jacquie, If it makes any difference, you can get Kindle on your computer if you like, even without a handheld device. Just Google Kindle Mac or Kindle Windows. I actually have a couple ebooks on my laptop. : )

  4. Beautifully written! What you said reminded me of this quote that I love from the Baha’i writings, “When a thought of war comes, oppose it with a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.”

  5. Off topic, but I wanted to say I am using coconut oil because of your blog and share my discovery that using a grapefruit spoon is a great way to get the solid oil out of the jar.

  6. These past months I came to the conclusion that what I want is to be able to be more generous, wishing it to be more a part of my personality. I believe it will in turn, bring me everything I want in my life, because I will be the life I want. And I´m not being altruistic here. It all comes down to the way we love every single thing or person that crosses our path every day. There are so many ways to give love.
    This is a wonderful post to start the year Shanna! May it bring many good things to you both!

  7. I am so appreciating all of your comments, even if my immediate response is something of a nodding head and YES, without much else to say. Each of you who have responded here, thank you for your thoughtful words!

  8. Shanna, your posts always abound with so much humility & yearning to be a better person – a total inspiration for all who read. Enjoy 2013 with brilliance, love & abundance!

    Love from Buenos Aires,
    Felicia

  9. I love the idea of doing small things with love. Sometimes the big & extravagant gestures can be easy; it’s the every day acts of kindness that are all too easy to forget about or lose in the busyness of life. Happy new year Shanna; I wish you and Tim all the happiness that you deserve.

  10. Man did this post make me feel convicted and encouraged. I feel like more often than not, I go through life slightly on the defensive at all times. Like I need to have it all together and please everyone as I go through my day-to-day. Your open heart and willingness to share is so refreshing, Shanna. I hope to be more open and giving of my true self in the year to come.

    • I know exactly what you mean about having a natural defense up. I mean, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Thanks for your kind words, Madison, and, you know, I read your “new year’s” blog post and thought that one of the things I’m thankful for in 2012 is getting to know you.

  11. What a great post to kick off the new year!! Social media tends to take a backseat during the holidays so I caught up on your blog posts today. I am very excited to hear that there is now a print version of your book!! Even though I prepared myself to read it online, I might cave and get the print version instead. 🙂

  12. Happy New Year! Our NYE was spontaneous and fun, filled with family and new friends, stories and laughter and love and good food and music. It makes me very pleased that this might be a harbinger of a 2013 filled with the same.

  13. “And that is what I’m hungry for, more than food and more than green, in 2013—for genuine compassion and kindness and love to come out of my heart, for me to see it around me, for our world to taste it in small ways and big. ” This… yes. Me too.

  14. Wow. What writing. What vulnerability. Thank you so much for opening your heart and showing us your honesty. You’re really incredible! Thank you so much for being so genuine and for being the light you want to see in the world. You’re making the world a better place already! xoxoxo

  15. Your words are gifts from God to my eyes and ears. This post is so magical. Thank you for allowing me to feel what you feel.

  16. Such a lovely post! Thank you! I had just pinned a quote on my bulletin board that echoes your thoughts…by John Burroughs… ” A small deed is better than the greatest intention”. The fries look so good…I can’t wait to try them! Happy New Year!

  17. I was just referred over by Madison of Espresso & Cream. I’m so happy to find this.

    Your words hit a true cord with me. I need to pray for someone who despises me, because I can see the pain they’re in. Instead, I’ve been stocking ammunition against them and delighting in their failures. It stops now.

    Also, in terms of cooking; I’ve been feeling extra grateful lately that the Lord gave me the passion to cook. I know many people who think cooking is a chore and despise it. I’m grateful cooking meals brings me happiness because it makes me healthy.

    New fan,
    Christina

    • Thank you for that comment, Christina (and Madison is a real treasure!) — I relate to much of what you wrote, but what I appreciate most is how you pushed my thoughts toward gratitude for something as simple as finding job in cooking. Well said.

  18. I had this saved to read, wish I had done so earlier! Thank you for this. Indeed this is a blog worth taking time to read, despite the clamoring of the urgent that threatens to crowd out reflecting on the One who has no variation or shadow or turning. Thanks for doing that out loud. What a pleasing fragrance 🙂

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