Sometimes, good food is as simple as a few potatoes and some seasoning. It doesn’t have to be complicated; the beauty is often in the simplicity of a dish. A little freshly ground black pepper, a smattering of olive oil and a little sea salt are frequently all you need for nourishing, delicious food.
Anyone who knows me well knows I could write a book singing the praises of potatoes. Such humble little vegetables yet so versatile. There are a million things you can do with them, from roasting to mashing to boiling to chipping, and being English I am well versed in all of these. Recently though I discovered Hasselback Potatoes, and they’re a bit of a game-changer!
Hasselback potatoes are like a cross between a roasted and a baked potato – they don’t have the fluffiness of a roast potato, but are crispy and delicious on the outside due to the deep slices carved into them. They’re also surprisingly easy to make and only really require 10-15 minutes prep time – the rest is all oven time. They’re definitely comfort food as they use a lot of oil and seasoning, but they’re delicious. I highly recommend giving these spuds a try, not least because everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE – will comment on how gorgeous they look. (Testament to this is the fact that I never intended to post this recipe, but after putting a couple of photos on Instagram I’ve been inundated with requests for it!)
All varieties of potato (and indeed many other root vegetables) work with this recipe, but they will all taste slightly different so do experiment to see which type you prefer using. Personally, I quite like using baby or new varieties, as I enjoy their sweeter taste and more delicate texture.
Ingredients (serves 3)
6 medium potatoes, any variety
¼ cup dried or fresh sage, leaves only
4 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Method (15 mins + 1 hr 15 cooking)
Preheat the oven to 405°F/200°C. Place the handles of two wooden spoons on a chopping board on either side of your first potato. Using a sharp knife, cut slices about 3-5mm apart into the potato as far down as the spoons allow (the wooden handles will stop the knife slicing all the way through, making sure you don’t cut it in half). When finished you should have one potato, still intact but covered in tiny slices. Repeat this process with the remaining potatoes.
If you have a pestle and mortar, grind the sage into a paste (if fresh) or a powder (if dry). If not, chop the herbs finely with a knife and place in a small bowl. Add the olive oil to the sage and mix thoroughly.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and using a pastry brush, coat them with the sage/olive oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
After this time remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle the crushed garlic over them, pushing it down in between some of the slices so that they can absorb the flavour. Using your pastry brush, take this opportunity to quickly re-coat the potatoes in olive oil (as there will likely be quite a bit in the bottom of the pan) and place them back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove and serve teh hasselback potatoes exactly as they are, or with some freshly chopped herbs sprinkled over them for extra colour.