So who doesn’t like potatoes? I don’t think I have so far met anyone who doesn’t. It is a vegetable (tuber actually) that is so versatile in terms of how it can be cooked. Almost every cuisine in the world has at least one way to cook it. Today’s Hasselback Potatoes are originally Swedish where they’re called Hasselbackspotatis.
Hasselback Potatoes are somewhere in between a baked and roasted potatoes. There are claims that they are a very traditional Swedish recipe from the 1700s. However, it appears that Hasselback Potatoes were created in 1953 by Leif Elisson. Elisson was a trainee chef at the Hasselbacken restaurant in Stockholm.
What is most attractive about this dish is the accordion like crisp appearance of the sliced potatoes. The trick to cutting them that way is actually simple. The potato is placed in a wooden spoon, tablespoon or any largish spoon and then sliced. This ensures that the potato is sliced almost to the bottom but not right through.
At the most basic, the Hasselback Potato is just potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked with butter. However, the gaps in the sliced potatoes can take a variety of fillings. Breadcrumbs, chopped almonds, cheese, herbs, sauces, are just some of the options.
Then some people prefer to peel the potatoes before slicing them. Others like them with their jackets. I personally prefer to keep things simple. So a little butter and olive oil to brush the potatoes, salt pepper and some herbs are what I like. I like keeping the skins on because the Hasselback Potatoes do look prettier that way.
I also prefer to parboil the potatoes before baking them. This is my way of making sure the potatoes cook well all the way through. I used larger potatoes, but you can also use smaller ones. They can then be served with dips or sauces are appetizers or starters. These potatoes are best eaten straight out of the oven when they’re crispiest on the outside.
- 4 large potatoes
- 30 gm unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Minced fresh or dried herbs (optional)
- Scrub the potatoes clean. Pat them dry. Drop them in a pot of boiling water and cook them for about 12 to 15 minutes. They should be parboiled now. Don’t let them boil till soft. They should still be hard enough to slice through thinly.
- Place one potato in a wooden spoon, tablespoon or dessertspoon. Hold the potato and the spoon together. With a sharp knife, slice the potato as thinly as you can. Repeat with the other three potatoes. The idea is to slice the potatoes almost to the bottom without cutting through. Place the sliced potatoes in a baking tray.
- Put the butter, oil and garlic paste in a small pan. Heat until the butter has melted. Generously brush the oil-butter mixture all over the potatoes, making sure it gets in between the sliced portions.
- Bake the potatoes at 225C (440F) for about 30 minutes. Generously brush the potatoes again with remaining oil-butter mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the minced herbs, if using, evenly over the potatoes. Return the potatoes to the oven, turning the tray around, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes till crisp and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.