Turning any vegetable into a “hasselback” can be a little technical and time-consuming (check out the video above), but a sharp knife and some precision can make the task less laborious. Practice does make perfect, so feel free to make the slices a little thicker than ¼ inch the first few times you make it. Once you become more comfortable with the task, you can make the slices thinner.
Here, we made a compound butter full of lemon zest and Parmesan cheese and slathered it into all those mini pockets. While the zucchini are roasting, basting is key: You’re basically spooning liquid gold over the vegetables, which come out of the oven crisp, cheesy, buttery and delicious.
Cheesy Hasselback Zucchini
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting and cooling time
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
For the Toasted Bread Crumbs:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely ground bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, roughly chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Compound Butter:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ tablespoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For Hasselback Zucchini:
4 medium zucchini
Toasted bread crumbs
Finely grated Parmesan, for garnish
Roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
Roughly chopped oregano, for garnish
Roughly chopped thyme, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Make the toasted bread crumbs: In a 10-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs and the herbs, and season with salt to taste. Toast the bread crumbs until golden brown, stirring constantly to make sure they don’t burn, 8 to 9 minutes. Keep warm until needed.
2. Make the compound butter: In a medium bowl, add all the compound butter ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.
3. Make the hasselback zucchini: Preheat the oven to 350º. Slice each zucchini in ¼-inch thick slices, without cutting all the way through to keep the zucchini in one piece. Place the hasselback zucchini on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and add dabs of the compound butter between each of the slices. Place back in the oven and roast for 10 minutes more, basting with the melted butter in the pan halfway through.
4. Transfer the zucchini to a serving platter to assemble. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and garnish with grated Parmesan, parsley, oregano and thyme. Squeeze a lemon wedge over each and serve.