Like a trendy pop song that makes you dance around your living room and belt it out in your car, “Hasselbacking” is irresistibly fun. In case you haven’t tuned in to it yet, the method typically refers to a way of baking a potato where the spud is thinly sliced about three-quarters of the way through, accordion-like, before cooking. It was first introduced in 1953 at the Hasselbacken hotel restaurant in Sweden, but, in part because of its Instagram-ability, it has had a modern resurgence and the idea is now being applied beyond the potato.
Here, zucchini gets the Hasselback treatment, giving some culinary jazz-hands to the stalwart vegetable. First the zucchini is sliced, then brushed with olive oil and roasted. As zucchini soften in the oven, its slices splay open a bit, practically begging for a sprinkle of garlic, salt, pepper and a sliver or two of Parmesan cheese to be tucked in between.Then, a bit more Parmesan, grated this time, is sprinkled on top and the zucchini is broiled until the cheese inside is melted and the top is browned.
The vegetable ends up juicy and firm-tender (don’t expect it to crisp-up like the potato does, as it’s not starchy enough) with the luscious savory notes of melted cheese in every bite for a photo-worthy side dish that makes me want to dance around my kitchen in-between forkfuls.
Active: 20 minutes | Total: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
4 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) shaved Parmesan cheese (using a vegetable peeler), plus 1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with foil.
2. Using a sharp knife, make crosswise, 1/2-inch-thick slices in each of the zucchini, without going all the way through. Leave about 1/4 of the vegetable intact at the bottom. If you wish, place a long-handled wooden spoon on either side of the vegetable to stop the knife from going too far.
3. Carefully transfer the zucchini to the baking sheet. Brush the outside and inside of each zucchini with the oil, then transfer to the oven, sliced side up. Roast, for about 20 minutes, until the zucchini soften and start to fan out.
4. While the zucchini is roasting, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, salt and pepper. Remove the zucchini from the oven. Using a fork, hold each slice open as you sprinkle some of the garlic mixture, then place a piece or two of the shaved Parmesan into each slice, folding or breaking the cheese as needed so it fits nicely into the openings. Sprinkle the top of the zucchini with the grated Parmesan cheese.
5. Preheat the broiler to low. Place the zucchini under the broiler for about 3 minutes, rotating the pan once or twice for even cooking, until the cheese is melted and the tops are browned, and serve.
Nutrition | Calories: 130; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 10 mg; Sodium: 300 mg; Carbohydrates: 6 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 8 g.
(From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.)