Smoky Baked Matchstick Fries with Chopped Arugula topped with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli(vegan) and Smoked Paprika
Many years ago there was a food establishment in Nashville called Mirror Restaurant. And due to my life story at the time and proximity to the joint, it was a place I frequented. The food was creative and yummy and the owners were amazing. The establishment has since closed but one of their dishes left a lasting impression and the inspiration for this weeks food story. On the menu was a warm savory salad drenched in a delicious broth and in this brothy mix laid a simple culinary kick that perked my taste buds up. FRIES. Oh yes, there were lots of other veggies present including Bok Choy which if memory serves is the first time that ingredient came more clearly on my radar…but that's another story. Today I'm focusing on the fries. I wanted to pay homage to this culinary impression by creating something new using other simple ingredients that I absolutely love. For instance, Arugula, Avocado, Vegan Mayo(yes I love mayo), Smoked Paprika(LOVE), Roasted Red Pepper and so on. I set out to create a new salad worthy of these delicious fries. Soooooooo…Smoky Baked Matchstick Fries with Chopped Arugula topped with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli(vegan) and Smoked Paprika was born. Continue below to follow this yummy fries adventure:)
Here's what you'll need to get started...
Small Potatoes(I used Yukon Gold and use as many as you like)
Arugula(approximately 2 cups or more per potato)
1 liquid cup Roasted Red Pepper
1 Medium Avocado
1 tbsp Garlic
1/4 cup Mayo(I used Soy Free Vegan)
Juice of Half Lemon
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika(plus more for topping)
1/4 tsp Salt(or to taste)
Olive Oil(1 tsp per small cut Potato)
Hickory Liquid Smoke(1 tsp per small cut Potato)
Aged Balsamic(1 tsp per small cut Potato)
First start by setting the oven to 400 then grab up some Potatoes. Cut into small strips then soak the pieces in water for 15 minutes. Drain water. Soak again briefly to ensure water is clear. Drain water again then place on a clean towel and pat dry.
Place pieces in a bowl and add 1 tsp each of Olive Oil, Hickory Liquid Smoke, and Aged Balsamic PER cut Potato(ex: 3 small cut potatoes-3 tsp each of liquids). Toss to ensure even coating.
Then spread the pieces onto a baking sheet and place in oven for 30-45 minutes…tossing every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. I like mine crispy and toasted so I let them bake for the full time.
While these are baking, let's get started on the Roasted Red Pepper Aioli. I LOVE avocado and it's creamy texture. It provides the perfect vehicle for so many alternatives in Vegan cuisine. Plus it's fun to photograph. My sister was in town during the shoot of this food story and I'm ALWAYS incorporating her hand modeling skills. Here she is showcasing the lovely depth and richness that an avocado exudes.
So to a food processor or mini food chop add the Avocado, Roasted Red Pepper, Garlic, Mayo, Lemon, Smoked Paprika, and Salt. Give it a blitz till all ingredients are incorporated. Just check out that beautiful color. So bright and vibrant….and entirely yummy.
Place this yummy mixture in a dispensing container and set aside. Kinda looks regal.
Now let's work on the Arugula. There's not much here to do but chop away. I like the smaller pieces with this dish and especially the fragrance released when chopped. Use as much as you like towards the number of plates prepared. Add a portion of the chopped Arugula to a small dinner plate and set aside.
By this time your fries should be close to being finished. When done...remove from oven to cool for a few minutes.
Then grab your plated Arugula and start building your dish. Top with a handful of Smoky Baked Matchstick Fries, Roasted Red Pepper Aioli, and a dusting of Smoking Paprika. ENJOY:)