Ina Garten’s Hasselback Kielbasa

Kielbasa gets extra juicy and crispy the hasselback way.
Kielbasa gets extra juicy and crispy the hasselback way.

Sausages always make for a satisfying no-nonsense, no-brainer meal.

But leave it to Ina Garten to spiff them up while still turning them into an easy one-pan supper.

“Hasselback Kielbasa” is from her latest cookbook, “Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

In her 13th cookbook, everyone’s favorite East Hampton Food Network star serves up a collection of comfort food geared more toward the novice cook or anyone looking for more streamlined recipes.

Cooks who appreciate plenty of color photos will revel in the fact that all of these one-page recipes include at least one.

Try your hand at everything from “Ravioli en Brodo” (made with ready-made cheese ravioli), “Creamy Eggs with Lobster & Crab,” “Oven Roasted Southern ‘Shrimp Boil’,” and “Dark Chocolate Tart.”

New to kielbasa? The long, u-shaped, smoked Polish sausage is like a cross between a hot dog and bologna in taste and texture.

In this recipe, they get the hassleback treatment — sliced thinly, but not all the way through, to create an accordion effect. If you place a chopstick on either side of the kielbasa, it will help prevent your knife from cutting completely through.

The sausage and veggies all cook on one pan in the oven.
The sausage and veggies all cook on one pan in the oven.

The kielbassa roasts on a sheet pan with onions, fennel, and bell peppers, all seasoned with garlic, thyme, and fennel seeds. The sausage also gets brushed with a mixture of honey and Dijon mustard for extra flavor.

The veggies get charred and turn sweeter as their natural sugars caramelize. The kielbasa plumps up with juices, with its cut edges turning a little crisp.

Serve with slices of warm, artisan bread, and dig in with gusto.

An easy way to feed a crowd.
An easy way to feed a crowd.

Hasselback Kielbasa

(Serves 6)

3/4 pound yellow onions (2 to 3 onions)

1 (1-pound) fennel bulb, stalks removed

1 each red, yellow and orange Holland bell pepper

Good olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds fully cooked, smoked kielbasa

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup liquid honey

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the onions in half, slice them crosswise in 1/2-inch-thick half-rounds, and place them in a large bowl. Cut the fennel bulb in half lengthwise, cut the halves in 1-inch thick wedges through the core (to keep the wedges intact), and add to the bowl. Cut the peppers in 1-inch-wide strips, discarding the stems and seeds, and add to the bowl. Toss with 4 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, thyme, fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a very large (14-by-18-inch) roasting pan (or two sheet pans), spread them evenly in a single layer, and roast for 20 minutes, tossing once with a large metal spatula.

Meanwhile, cut the kielbasa crosswise in 1/4-inch-thick slices, being careful to cut only two thirds of the way through. When the vegetables are ready, toss them again, discard the thyme branches, and place the kielbasa on top. Combine the mustard and honey and brush the top and sides of the kielbasa with the honey mustard every 10 minutes, until it is crispy and browned. (Reserve extra honey mustard for serving.) Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and serve hot with the reserved honey mustard on the side.

From “Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” by Ina Garten

Another Ina Garten Recipe to Enjoy: Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

More Hasselback Fun: Hasselback Carrots with Pimenton and Roasted Lemon

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