Spudtacular (mastering the hasselback)

[Recipe 1] BANGERS with HASSELBACK POTATOES, ROASTED ASPARAGUS and CARAMELISED RED ONION JAM transforms into
[Recipe 2] ROAST POTATO SALAD with SMOKED TROUT, ASPARAGUS and HORSERADISH DRESSING

Hasselback! Surely the best food name ever? These spuds are the bees knees. They’re simple to prepare, super kid friendly and look and taste spectacular. They originated at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Sweden.
The recipe is similar wherever you look. I’ve tried one on taste.com and Nigella‘s, which are drizzled in butter; but I now favour coconut oil*. I also alternate between fresh thyme and rosemary, depending on what’s available. Hasselbacks pair beautifully with pork sausages, roast asparagus and a good plop of sticky caramelised onion jam.
Being a planned-overs addict, I recently roasted double the asparagus and hasselback potatoes; and the following night whipped up a damn fine Potato salad with smoked trout, hard-boiled eggs, olives, asparagus and horseradish dressing. Although quite similar to nicoise, I actually took my inspiration from the Portugese stew, Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá (salt cod with onions, potatoes, olives and egg), which is traditionally served hot; but as we wilted through yet another heatwave in Melbourne recently, a salad was more fitting. I couldn’t lay my hands on cod, so opted for more readily available, and equally delicious, smoked trout.
*If you’ve not cooked with coconut oil, read this and this and you’ll be converted. No more nasty seed or vegetable oils for moi!

Hasselback potatoesBangers with caramelised onions and hasselback potatoes[Recipe 1] Bangers with hasselback potatoes, roasted asparagus and caramelised red onion jam

Ingredients (serves 4 for 2 meals):
12 roasting potatoes (2 kilos/4 lb)
40g (1½ oz) organic coconut oil, melted
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked (or fresh thyme if unavailable)
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed, brushed lightly with coconut oil
To serve:
Good quality free-range pork sausages
Caramelised red onion jam

Chopstick guide for hasselback potatoesPreheat oven to 200°C (390ºF).
Place a potato on a board and make thin, evenly spaced cuts at 3mm intervals. Place a chopstick or thin-handled wooden spoon either side of the potato, to use as a guide to ensure you don’t cut all the way down through the potato. Gently fan out the slices.
Place prepared potato on a tray lined with baking paper and brush with coconut oil, pushing down between the slices. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Season with salt flakes and pepper. Scatter rosemary over 6 potatoes, for tonight’s meal (planned-over spuds for the salad in Recipe 2 are best left plain).
Bake prepared potatoes in oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and crisp.
Place asparagus spears on a separate small baking tray, and pop in the oven with the potatoes for the last 15 minutes roasting time. Give potatoes another light brush with coconut oil. Remove asparagus and set aside.
Check potatoes are tender. If not, pop them back in the oven for another ten minutes and test again.
♦ Reserve half the hasselback potatoes and half the roasted asparagus spears for the Roast potato salad with smoked trout and horseradish dressing.
Meanwhile pan-fry sausages, and keep warm in the pan, covered, until required.
Serve remaining hasselback potatoes immediately, with bangers, onion jam and roasted asparagus.

  • You could add a simple green salad to this meal, and kids will appreciate steamed corn or carrots on the side.
  • Planned-overs (reserved hasselback potatoes and roasted asparagus) can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Smoked trout, potato and olive salad

[Recipe 2] Roast potato salad with smoked trout, asparagus and horseradish dressing

Ingredients (serves 4):
6 reserved roasted hasselback potatoes, sliced through, at room temperature
Reserved roasted asparagus spears
150g (5 oz) smoked trout fillet, flaked
3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered
Handful olives, pitted (I love Mount Zero Victorian-grown kalamata olives)
Horseradish dressing
2 spring onions, chopped finely
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
Flaked salt (Murray River pink salt flakes are my recent addiction – so good with fish)
Lemon wedges, to serve

Arrange reserved sliced hasselback potatoes and roasted asparagus on a large serving platter, or four individual serving plates.
Place flaked trout, eggs and olives on top; drizzle with horseradish cream and scatter with spring onions and dill.
Sprinkle with flaked salt and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

  • Fussy kid tips: This salad is easy to customise for children by replacing the asparagus with chopped avocado, and omitting the olives and onions, as required. You can also lightly drizzle kid’s serves with good-quality egg mayo or plain light sour cream. Kids may also prefer canned tuna instead of smoked trout; in which case you can use the leftover trout for lunch, in a bagel with cucumber and cream cheese!
  • Any mention of brand names in my recipes is simply because I really like and recommend the products. I don’t do sponsored posts!