Named after the hotel where it was invented in Sweden, Hasselbacking is a technique in which vegetables (traditionally potatoes) are partially cut in the style of a harmonica, greased with butter, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and baked.
This approach is also great for tomatoes; think of them as leveled stuffed tomatoes with lots of crispy sides and a great browning. We started with good-looking fleshy tomatoes.
We peeled them off the core and then cut on them and laid out a strong, fragrant homemade pesto with basil mixed with crispy punk bread crumbs.
We then sprinkled the tomatoes with the crushed Gruyere cheese for more flavor and placed the stuffed tomatoes under the roaster for just 5 minutes to melt the cheese and soften the tomatoes slightly without turning them into a pulp.
For best results, we recommend buying ripe tomatoes of similar weight and size. We developed this recipe with tomatoes, which averaged 3 ounces in weight and 2 ½ inches in length.
Servings Per Container: 4-6
From start to finish: 45 minutes
8 ripe plum tomatoes, without core
7 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (1 3/4 cup)
1½ cup fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cups of breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, chopped
Add salt and pepper
Cover the peeled tin with aluminum foil and place in a wire rack. Using a serrated knife, cut slices ¼ inches thick from 1 long side of each tomato to create a flat base. Turn the tomatoes on the cut sides so that they sit straight, then cut across at an inch interval, leaving the bottom inch of each tomato intact.
Process 3/4 cup of Gruyere, basil, oil, punk, garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper in a food processor until smooth, scraping with a rubber spatula if necessary, about 10 seconds.
Adjust the oven rack to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler. Mix 3/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Gently open the tomato slices and sprinkle with a mixture of salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, spread the basil mixture evenly between the tomato slices (about 2 tablespoons per tomato).
Lay the tomatoes on the prepared grate. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 cup of the remaining Gruyère. Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 286 calories; 218 calories from fat; 24 g of fat (8 g of saturated; 0 g of trans fat); 36 mg of cholesterol; 414 mg of sodium; 6 g of carbohydrates; 1 g of fiber; 2 g of sugar; 11 g of protein.