Hasselback potatoes are definitely having a moment and understandably so as they look so appealing and taste so good. Apparently we have the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm to thank for this method of slicing whole potatoes so that when they’re roasted they fan out like an accordion, or as Nigella Lawson puts it, like sauteed potatoes on the stem.
Normally they’re just rolled in oil and/or butter but variations on the original theme are legion. I thought they’d be good slathered with harissa as an accompaniment to some peppery sausages and I liked the result. Cooked this way they’d also be good with grilled meats or barbecued mackerel, or for vegetarians, with a big fat frittata.
I’ve given the quantities and timings I used but it really depends on how many spuds you’re cooking, of what size, and how hot you like your food. I was using new potatoes. Adjust to your personal tastes, as ever.
Hasselback Potatoes with Harissa
8-10 small-to-medium waxy new potatoes, scrubbed, peeled or unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp harissa (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.
Cut slices approximately 2mm apart across each potato, cutting almost to the bottom but not all the way through. You can sandwich them between the handles of two wooden spoons to make this easier, although I think it’s a method that works better with bigger spuds.
Alternatively you can sit them in the bowl of a big spoon or just go free-style.
Put a tablespoon of harissa in a bowl and mix it with a tablespoon of oil and salt and pepper to taste. Drop in the potatoes and stir them around to cover them with the mixture. You can do this a few hours ahead if you like.
Line a roasting tin with foil or baking paper and put in the potatoes, cut-side up. Roast for 30 minutes, by which time they should have opened up. If they haven’t, coax them open with a knife.
Brush with the remaining harissa/oil mix, pushing it gently into the slits, and roast for another 20-30 minutes, depending on size, until the insides are tender and the outsides have crisped up. Larger potatoes obviously will take longer.