There was a brief moment in recent history when hasselback potatoes went from an obscure culinary concept to the hottest food trend exploding on the social media scene. Particularly when Thanksgiving rolled around, these thinly semi-sliced potatoes were inescapable, ranking right up there with bacon and sriracha. Combining crispy ridges with tender, fluffy interiors, they deserved the acclaim as better baked potatoes, but their brilliance can’t be rushed. From oven to table, we’re talking 1–2 hours of cook time. Luckily, potatoes aren’t the only vegetable that can enjoy this technique; zucchini is a breath of fresh air in this overwhelming sea of starch. Choose smaller squash to ensure quick cooking times and cut consistent, wafer-thin slices for the best results. “Real Food Really Fast: Delicious Plant-Based Recipes Ready in 10 Minutes Or Less” by Hannah Kaminsky is full of amazing and easy recipes. Check it out from Skyhorse Publishing!
Hasselback Zucchini [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 1/2 pounds (about 6 small) zucchini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 500°F.
- Properly prepping the zucchini is essential for success here, so be careful when cutting. You don’t want to go all the way through the vegetables, but just about ¾ of the way, at regularly spaced intervals of just a few millimeters. Exact measurements aren’t critical as long as you’re consistent. For those less confident with their knife skills, try placing thin skewers or dowels on either side of the zucchini to prevent the blade from going all the way down to the cutting board.
- Place the zucchini on a lightly greased baking sheet and drizzle liberally with oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and salt together and smear this mixture all over, pushing it in between the cut layers and all over the sides. Cover loosely with foil and slide the pan into the hot oven.
- Lift the foil after about 6 minutes to check on their progress. The zucchini should be just about fork-tender. Bake for an additional 2 minutes or so, uncovered, until lightly browned. Serve warm.
- Spice things up by swapping in equal measures of any dried herbs, or up to 2 teaspoons of your favorite seasoning mixture for new flavor adventures. Try a bright, zingy lemon-pepper variation by using 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, just for starters.