How thin should I cut hasselback potatoes?
General advice is to cut your hasselback potatoes in even slices of about 0.3cm wide each. Don’t cut all the way through! You are trying to create a fan effect. The best way to cut your hasselback potatoes is to cut one flat edge at the bottom of each spud to help it balance. Then put a chopstick on either side of your potato and stop cutting each time your knife hits the stick. Genius!
Can I hasselback other root vegetables?
Yes! Hasselback sweet potatoes are having a bit of a moment right now. But you can hasselback just about all vegetables and even fruits. Try hasselback slices of pineapple under the grill or on the braai in summer. Or peel and slice a large squash into two lengthways, dab with oil, salt and pepper then hasselback it, squeezing ready-made tube garlic in between each slice. Oven roast as a main dish alternative to meat.
Why are they called hasselback potatoes?
The ‘Potato à la Hasselbacke’, to give it its full name, comes from a famous old hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a type of baked potato, which has been scored with thin slices until it resembles an accordion with many layers, or the end of an old fashioned wooden honey-dipper. Hasselback potatoes have a sort of concertina effect. The key is not to slice all the way through. Traditionally, the hasselback was served with crushed toasted nuts or crispy breadcrumbs on top.
- 80g finely grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
- 50g finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- 400ml double cream
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 small sprig rosemary, wood removed
- 1.6kg peeled potatoes, hasselback-sliced into thin sections
- 45g unsalted butter, room temp
- Put oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 230C, Gas 8.
- Combine cheeses in a large bowl, leaving aside a bit of Parmesan for the final sprinkle. Add cream, garlic and rosemary to the cheese mix.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, add potatoes and, using hands, gently prise apart some of the slices, bathing the potatoes until they are well covered with the creamy mix. Don’t worry if some break a little.
- Grease a deep casserole dish with butter and leave any excess in a little pile in the bottom of the dish.
- Organise the potatoes into a neat pattern, as you wish, working from the outside of the dish in, with edges facing up. They should be tightly packed. If necessary, use any broken slices of potato as ‘cement’ to pack the dish out.
- Pour excess creamy mixture evenly over potatoes until the mixture fills half the dish. You may not need all the excess. Cover tightly with foil or a lid and transfer to oven.
- Bake for 45mins. Remove foil and continue baking until top is pale golden brown, about 35mins longer. Remove from oven, let rest for a few mins, and serve with final cheese sprinkle.
Want more flavour? Try with smoked paprika on top.