In Its Own Quiet Way

July 1, 2010

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This is the perfect have-in-your-back-pocket, takes-almost-no-prep, side-dish-that’s-right-with-almost-anything. I love Hasselback Potatoes for their rustic simplicity.

Often times, I’m at odds with what to make as a carb side dish for an aggressively flavored main. I want it to be *something*…you know, not just rice with a pat of butter or a simple baked potato…but I in no way want it to compete with whatever else is going on in the meal.  Hasselback Potatoes are the perfect thing in that situation.

Though you can dress them up in all sorts of ways (breadcrumbs, sour cream toppings), I like mine as simply delicious as possible.  Just potatoes, a few slivers of garlic or shallots…or a sprig of rosemary or a bay leaf…..olive oil and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and pepper….and you’re done.

Hasselback Potatoes

Medium-to-Large Potatoes
Your choice of seasonings:  Garlic or Shallots, cut into slivers, sprigs of Rosemary or Bay Leaves (choose hearty herbs so they’ll stand up to the long, hot cooking time)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper

Prep the potatoes:  What you want is a potato with 1/4-inch-apart vertical cuts all along the length of the potato—but you want the potato to stay together, so you don’t want the cuts to go all the way through.  To help achieve this, sit the potato in the well of a wooden spoon, then cut.  The spoon will act as a bumper and won’t allow the knife to go all the way through.

Once you have the potatoes sliced, fan out the cuts a bit and slip in the garlic, shallots or herbs into the slits.  Place them on a sheet pan and drizzle with the olive oil—again fan those cuts so the oil can get in there….and then generously salt and pepper.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven, and bake until crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.

And boom:  with 5 minutes of prep time and some mostly unattended oven time–leaving you plenty of time to tweak those hearty flavors in your main course–you have the perfectly simple, yet elegant, side dish to any main….and this is one side that might just steal the show… in its own quiet way.

Filed Under: Diet-Friendly, Mixed-Bag, Recipe, Savory, Sides, Vegetarian-Friendly

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Fit Chick in the City July 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’ve never seen a potato cooked like this before. Sounds delish!

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