This post crosses into two territories, being both for VeganMoFo and for Kim and Ricki’s SOS Kitchen Challenge (their theme this month being sweet potatoes!). I go with the North American definition of sweet potatoes, that is confused by and conflates several varieties of tasty root vegetables, for I actually used a few garnet yams for this recipe.
And recipe is rather a loose term… Sure, there are some spice combos you may not always throw together, but this is more about a different way of presenting the delicious sweet potato, rather than blowing your mind with some crazily unique concoction. After Thanksgiving’s mashed potatoes (you can see my fully loaded plate in the above gallery, along with some soup that I will post likely tomorrow), I was thinking about potatoes in general, and one of my favorite Swedish ways to bake a potato: hasselbackspotatis! This method of thinly slicing potatoes without cutting them all the way through, then seasoning them and baking them, gets its name from the Hasselbacken restaurant in Sweden which first served this dish. Though I’m a true Swede at heart and potatoes really stoke my fire, I know most definitely that sweet potatoes are nutritionally superior and thought I’d bring the two ideas together. Also I am not being terribly Swedish with the seasoning here…it reflects a work-in-progress for the aforementioned second zine. But it’s really tasty, though any combination you desire will work here, even just plain oil, salt and pepper.
It will be easier for you if you pick a few smaller sized yams/sweet potatoes for this recipe, because you won’t have to move them around on your spoon or other cutting set-up as much. Most people will use a large serving spoon to keep the knife from cutting all the way through evenly, but if you’re really into hasselbackspotatis, you can buy a nifty board to assist your endeavors! The result, whether for regular potatoes or yams, has a crispy exterior and soft spiced insides, plus they look way more impressive than the work involved to make them.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
2 small garnet yams (ideally about the size of your largest cooking spoon)
1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced
olive oil for drizzling
pinch each, or to taste: cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne and chili powder
2-3 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven to 400F. Have ready a small baking dish.
Scrub your yams (and peel them if you like; I prefer to leave the skin on). Place one inside of a large cooking spoon and carefully make even slices 1/8 to 1/4-inch apart across the length of the yam down to the edges of the spoon, being careful not to cut all the way through. You may need to shift the yam across the spoon to manage the entire length. Place in baking dish and repeat with additional yam.
Tuck thin slices of garlic in between some of the slices, then drizzle both yams with olive oil. Sprinkle on the spices and rosemary, and bake for 40-60 minutes, or until the insides are soft and the edges are crispy. Serve hot (especially delicious with seasoned black beans and steamed greens!).