hasselback sweet potatoes (8)

Sweet potatoes are a part of every holiday meal in our family.  I love them, but can get tired of the same brown sugar, pecan (or even marshmallow) preparations.  Here’s a new idea that looks time consuming but is actually pretty easy.  They still have a hint of sweetness but lots of herb-y bread crumbs to round out the flavor.  I’ve come up with a clever trick to help in the prep work that yields perfect results every time!



6 ea                                      medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed & peeled

2 T                                         melted butter

3 T                                        whole milk or cream

1 C                                         whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ C                                       grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves                             garlic

1 T                                         fresh thyme, minced

1 t                                         fresh rosemary, minced

1 ea                                      zest of 1 tangerine

2 T                                         cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

2 t                                         salt and freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment ;   2    12” chopsticks and masking tape


Prepare bread crumb topping:  combine whole wheat bread crumbs, minced herbs, garlic cloves tangerine zest, parmesan, salt, pepper and butter cubes in the bowl of a food processor.  Process crumbs in quick pulses to a cornmeal-like consistency.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Prepare sweet potatoes:  Tape chopsticks parallel to each other on a cutting board about 2” apart.  Slice  1/8” off the bottom of each potato.  Lay the potato lengthwise between them so that the potato is slightly elevated off the cutting board.  This will prevent your knife from cutting all the way through the potato.  Thinly slice crosswise in 1/8” slices taking care not to cut all the way through the potato.  After slicing, place potatoes in a foil lined baking dish.

Combine melted butter and milk and drizzle over potatoes.  Take care to get mixture between the potato layers.  Top potatoes with prepared crumb mixture, again making sure to get the crumb mixture between the layers.  Press remaining crumbs on top of potatoes.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake until almost fork tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove foil top and return to oven for 10 minutes longer to crisp the top of potatoes.