Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post
Here, zucchini gets the Hasselback treatment: the vegetable is sliced about three-quarters of the way through, accordion-like, before cooking. As the zucchini softens in the oven, the 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. With a sprinkle of grated cheese on top and a few minutes under the broiler, the vegetable winds up juicy and firm-tender, browned on top, and with the luscious savoriness of melted cheese in every bite for an irresistibly fun and photo-worthy side dish.
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
Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with foil.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Serving size: 1 (8oz) zucchini
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: Calories 130; Total Fat 9g; (Sat Fat 4g); Protein 8g; Carb 6g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 300mg; Total Sugar 5g