You have heard of and maybe enjoyed many times Hassleback potatoes, right! Have you ever thought about the weird name though? Personally a recipe with the word “hassle” in it is never my cup of tea but these fanned out, crispy outside, soft inside potatoes are so yummy to eat and so easy to make that I couldn’t resist searching the back ground of the recipe.
It turned out that Hassleback potatoes are also known as Accordion Potato because of the shape they are cut in. It is essentially a Swedish recipe, named after Hasselbacken
, a Stockholm restaurant which first served the preparation in the 1700s. After becoming a favourite of the people in Stockholm and Sweden, the dish became popular worldwide. So rest assured that there is no hassle involved in the recipe or I wouldn’t be experimenting with it.
Yes, I have been playing with the idea in my kitchen using a few vegetables other than potatoes, such as sweet potatoes and green zucchini. The most successful and delicious experiment turned out to be with eggplants. I cut them to make them look like a fan as we do with Hassleback potatoes, dotted with a mix of lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil, then baked, and finally fine served warm over a garlicky yogurt sauce. The result was divine creamy soft eggplants from inside with crispy skins and oodles of flavour. The best part: very low calorie and guilt free side that goes best with vegetable or meat kebabs or patties, fish and roasts.
You can use any of your favourite herbs instead of parsley or coriander.
For Eggplant Hassleback:
4 long eggplants
4 cloves garlic
A small bunch coriander/parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
For Yogurt Garlic Sauce:
1/2 cup coriander/parsley leaves
1 green chilli pepper
1 clove garlic
1 cup plain thick yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium tomato
1 small onion
This Is What You Do:
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Using a small, sharp knife, make deep cuts all the way along the eggplants at equal intervals. Don’t cut all the way through. They should remain joined at the bottom.
Crush and finely chop garlic cloves, chop coriander leaves. Mix salt, pepper, garlic, coriander and lemon juice in a bowl. Fill this mixture into the cuts in the eggplants.
Lightly grease an oven proof dish and place the eggplants in it. Brush the eggplants all over with olive oil.
Bake the eggplants for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness and size. Mine were smallish and tender so they were done in 20 minutes. Don’t over cook or the eggplants will lose their juiciness and the skin will get chewy. Keep an eye on them after 20 minutes.
For the sauce, blend together garlic clove, coriander leaves and chilli pepper in a food processor. Add salt and paper. Stir into thick yogurt to make a herbilicious sauce.
Drizzle the cool sauce over warm eggplants. Garnish with chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander.