Hasselback potatoes were created in 1953 by Swedish chef-in-training Leif Elisson. Hasselback potatoes are thinly sliced, but not quite through, leaving the potato intact. They are basted with butter or another fat throughout the baking process, giving them a crispy exterior and soft, creamy center.
This version uses sweet potatoes, making them even more versatile. They can be made simple and savory or sweet and spicy. Choose sweet potatoes which are fairly even in shape and with undamaged skins. They can be peeled or left unpeeled.
The toasted nuts and maple syrup is a classic combination, but feel free to add some cinnamon or use honey instead of the maple syrup. See the variations for some other flavor ideas.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Line a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with foil and then brush the foil with olive oil or butter.
- Scrub the sweet potatoes. Leave the peels on or peel them. If the potato is very round and rolls easily, cut a small slice off the bottom so it will be stable and won't roll as you make the cuts.
- Place a sweet potato on a cutting board and place a wooden spoon on each side so the potato is surrounded by the spoon handles. This will make it much easier to make the slices without cutting through. Or use a pair chopsticks (thick ends). With a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the potatoes, making the slices about 1/8 to 1/4-inch apart. Make sure to cut straight down, and keep the potato within the spoon handles. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- Arrange the sweet potatoes in the prepared baking pan and brush with about half of the melted butter or fat. Sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes. Brush the sweet potatoes with more butter and then continue baking—brushing and basting every 10 minutes—for about 50 to 60 minutes or until they are tender.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, toast the walnuts or pecans. Spread the nuts out in a dry skillet and place it over medium heat. Cook until the nuts are lightly toasted and aromatic, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate to stop the cooking process.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and drizzle them with maple syrup and then sprinkle with the toasted nuts. Make sure to get some between the slices.
- Return the sweet potatoes to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes longer.
- Serve immediately.