The Yankee Chef
Hasselback this and Hasselback that . . . Everyone is on the Hasselback* bandwagon. Now my turn! I adore this dish, and I think you will as well. Cheesy, smoky, crispy goodness between every slice of sweet tomatoes.
8 large plum tomatoes
1/4 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 pound shredded Provolone cheese
1 cup freshly chopped basil
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dried biscuit crumbs (see Note below)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Preheat broiler, making sure rack is at least 3 inches from heat source.
Slice each tomato very thinly on one side so that it is able to sit up on a foil-lined baking pan without rolling. Now thinly slice each tomato into 1/4-inch slices about three quarters of the way down. Set aside.
Add cheeses, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. While separating each slice of each tomato, carefully stuff with equal amounts of cheese mixture. In a small bowl, mix biscuit crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over each stuffed tomato.
Place tomatoes on broiler rack and cook for about 3 minutes, checking often, or until the top is nicely browned. Remove from broiler, turn heat off, and immediately place in oven. Allow tomatoes to continue cooking in the residual heat of the oven from the broiler for at least 5 minutes, or until hot throughout, not allowing tomatoes to get too soft.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Note: The best way to get dried biscuit crumbs is not to buy them but to make them yourself. Simply leave out a couple of your favorite biscuits on a covered plate for a couple of days to dry out. You can also speed up the process by placing biscuits in a 200-degree F oven for an hour or so, until they are dried out. Remove to cool before crumbling them with your fingers.
*About the dish’s name: “Hasselback” originally referred to a dish of thin-sliced potatoes (with crisp exterior and tender interior), that was developed and served by a Swedish restaurant of the same name. Now anything called Hasselback is simply something cut accordion-style and cooked in order to get the flavor and other ingredients “into” the product.