Journey to Sweden with some Hasselback tomatoes

By Jim Bailey

Invented by Chef Leif Elisson at the famous Swedish restaurant Hasselbacken in the ’50s, the Hasselback method can be found using fruits and other vegetables, such as this delicious dedication to both Elisson and Italy. This is a great alternative to caprese salad, this fragrant and gooey appetizer can be enjoyed year-round as well.

8 plum tomatoes
8 ounces (1 3/4 cup) Grueyere cheese, shredded
2 cups freshly chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Line a broiler pan with tin foil; set aside.

Cut tomatoes on one side so that it stands up on its own, just a sliver will do. Place tomatoes on prepared pan and cut each from top to within a 1/4-inch of the bottom, 5 or 6 times in an accordion fashion; set aside.

Place 1 cup cheese, basil, olive oil, 1/3 cup panko crumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until just combined and the basil has been roughly chopped. Season with salt and pepper, mixing in well.

Spread cheese mixture between each slice of each tomato, evenly dividing. Combine remainder of cheese and panko, mixing well and sprinkle over the top of each stuffed tomato.

Place under broiler at least 2 inches from heat source, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, before removing to enjoy hot.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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