Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto are a sophisticated, flavorful, fresh, yet simple side dish. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and vegan.
It’s the week of Valentine’s recipes to take you from dinner to dessert for a romantic, homebody date night in. A couple days ago I shared with you guys one of my favorite, easier salmon recipes – Blood Orange Rosemary Salmon en Papillote.
With that delish recipe you’ve got a beautiful, fresh entree and a veggie side dish all in one….but Valentine’s Day definitely calls for one more side, and that’s where these little cuties come in handy: Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto.
First of all, quick little PSA: while the orange basil pesto tastes delicious on sweet potatoes as well, please don’t be afraid of white potatoes! They get such a bad rep in the health foodie world, and for absolutely no reason! They pack quite a nutrient-laden little punch!
- white potatoes have more potassium than a banana
- you can get half your daily vitamin C intake from a medium potato
- while they’re often associated with high-fat and high-sodium foods (read: french fries, potato chips), any fat or salt comes entirely from the preparation method, as potatoes themselves have zero fat, sodium, or cholesterol
- full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- contain resistant starch
By using little golden baby potatoes (or any baby or fingerling potato you prefer), the smaller size also means shorter cook time, which totally vibes with my lower-maintenance-but-still-looks-impressive Valentine’s vibe.
Full disclosure, the most hands-on part of this recipe is the preparation of thinly slicing the baby potatoes partially through. You want the potatoes to end up still intact on the bottom, but with that classic fanned appearance on top. I used a ceramic paring knife to make the cuts and it worked very well!
Once the potatoes are sliced, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil (any type will do!), sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and pop them in the oven. They’ll get pretty crispy and delicious on the bottom (or whichever side is touching the baking sheet).
While the potatoes are roasting you can prep this SUPER fresh orange basil pesto sauce (or it can be prepared and refrigerated up to a day in advance).
Now, it’s not a “true” pesto, in that there is no dairy, no nuts, nothing like that. But it has a creaminess that’s very reminiscent of a pesto. Plus basil. Pesto always has to have basil in my book! Just throw your fresh basil, spinach, orange juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt into a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
Once your crispy, roasted hasselback baby potatoes come out of the oven transfer them to a serving platter and drizzle with orange basil pesto. And magically, they’re transformed from something super ordinary to a really special, flavorful, vibrant potato dish.
Also – while we’ve established that you don’t need to fear white potatoes, if sweet potatoes are your thing, orange basil pesto works great on that, too. And salmon. And chicken. And….basically everything. 😉 Which is a good thing, because you’ll probably have some of this delicious-with-everything orange basil pesto leftover.
If you give these beautiful little Hasselback Baby Potatoes with Orange Basil Pesto a try, be sure to let me know! Share your thoughts in the comments, shoot me a DM or an email, or tell us about it on the NTF Facebook page or on Instagram (tag me @nutritiontofit and use the hashtag #nutritiontofit so we can all follow along!).