I am not a holiday food purist. When my family switched our eating habits, we carried our love of vegetables and whole grains into the holidays as well. At first, the other members of my extended family were hesitant, but after a few years, they realized that while the food was heavily loaded with vegetables, it was still delicious. These simple sweet potatoes would easily grace our table during the holidays.
Now, however, these potatoes are a treat only for me. After moving to California, my husband and I realized going home to Illinois for Thanksgiving and Christmas became too much, so we spend a quiet day by ourselves on Thanksgiving. Don't be fooled though — my husband still wants the Thanksgiving food he grew up with (read: not homemade green bean casserole). It's the one time of year I oblige his wishes and make him what he wants.
I still will treat myself to a vegetable-heavy meal: roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash casserole, and sweet potatoes in one form or another. I really enjoy these Hasselback sweet potatoes for their simplicity and ease. (Once you get good at the cutting, that is. I'm forever accidentally cutting them in half! Note the chopstick trick in the recipe instructions — it's a potato saver.)
→ See our tutorial: How To Make Hasselback Potatoes
I stick with thyme as the seasoning, but you could add whichever herbs you might have on hand from the rest of your meal. Rosemary, chives, and sage would make good additions or replacements, and if you don't want to mess with the brown butter, you could use a drizzle of good olive oil — though the brown butter does add a nice touch of flavor!
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for serving
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons brown butter, or an equal amount of olive oil
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F.
Wash the sweet potatoes and cut off a small sliver on the bottom of the potato to give it a stable surface. Cut the sweet potato into rough 1/4-inch slices, leaving 1/8 inch intact at the bottom. (You can do this by sight/feel, or by placing chopsticks on either side of the potato and slicing until you hit the chopsticks). Place in a roasting pan.
Carefully tuck the thyme leaves in between the fans of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle the brown butter on top, using a brush to spread butter evenly and into the fans as well.
Roast in the oven until the sweet potatoes are soft in the middle and easily pierced with a paring knife, 45 to 55 minutes depending on the size of your sweet potatoes. Serve immediately while hot.
Making brown butter: Melt 3 tablespoon brown butter over medium-low heat on the stovetop and cook until browned and with a nutty aroma. Read more about it here: How To Brown Butter.
Storage: Leftovers will leep for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.