For vegetable lovers, fall offers a literal cornucopia of root vegetables of all colors, shapes, and sizes. From carrots to beets, squash, different types of potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, rutabagas, eggplant, and parsnips – they’re all delicious if you know how to cook them properly. Boiling is a quick and easy way to throw out all of the vitamins with the boiling water. Sautéing is fine if you have the time to stand and stir. Frying might be delicious, but it defeats the purpose. So, most of us turn to oven roasting as a healthy way to capture the vitamins and flavor. The question is, are you maximizing your roasting flavor? Do you Hasselback fall vegetables before you put them in the oven?
You’ve probably seen pictures. The Hasselback method of cooking involves slicing the vegetables not all the way through in thin, even layers. You can then stuff seasonings or cheese in between the layers if you choose. Even if you don’t, by creating more surface area with the slicing, you’ll be creating added texture. Your vegetables will be creamier on the inside and crispier on the outside than if you’d just put them in the oven to roast.
Originating at the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden in the 1950s, this method is easier than it looks. You want to place two items alongside the vegetable you are cutting. Chopsticks, metal straws – anything that will stop your knife from cutting through to the bottom of the vegetable. Ideally, you want to make your slices between ¼ and ⅛ of an inch apart. The thinner and more uniform you can make them, the crispier the final product.
Then you need to add some fat to ensure crispness. We suggest olive oil but coconut oil, butter, or whatever you favor will work. Brush the outside of the Hasselback veg with oil – and brush between the slices as well. Then pop your veg onto a baking tray and into a 350 degree oven for the appropriate baking time, depending on the vegetable.
You can add whatever seasonings you like before you put it in the oven or add them after. You can also add things like cheese toward the end of the cooking process, just allowing enough time for it to melt.
This cooking method is easy, fun, takes the flavor to a new level, and is sure to wow your family and friends.
Once you’ve mastered the technique, apply your new Hasselback skills to chicken breast, fruits including apples, papayas, and strawberries, and even loaves of bread! Have fun experimenting!