Looking for novel ways to eat eggplant? Here you’ve got it! This easy yet gorgeous keto meal needs only 4 ingredients — that is, if you don’t want to amp it up with the numerous tweaks I’ll give at the end of the post.
How to make this Hasselback Eggplant
The word “Hasselback” might be familiar to you from the carby kitchen. Namely, Hasselback Potatoes is a classic and well-known side dish. Hasselback potatoes are sliced into thin wedges but left joined at the bottom. They are crowned with melted butter and breadcrumbs (sometimes also with grated cheese) and baked until crispy.
The name of the dish originates from Stockholm and the restaurant school called Hasselbacken (literally “nut hill”). In about the 1940s, they started preparing potatoes in a new way. This way spread to Swedish restaurants with the schoolers after they left the restaurant school. Nowadays, Hasselback Potatoes are known all over the world.
The idea of slicing something and filling the slits with butter and cheese is fascinating. You can come up with so many new ideas for the recipes quite easily. In the keto world, you don’t use potatoes, so low-carb alternatives are needed. Eggplant is one of those perfect keto alternatives to be used as Hasselback style.
I will tell more about the history of developing this recipe in the next chapter, so now, just let’s take a look at how to prepare this fascinating keto dish, Hasselback Eggplant.
Take 1 medium eggplant. Mine weighs 12 oz (340 g).
Cut slits in the eggplant, leaving the bottom intact. Make the slices about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Place the eggplant into a baking dish.
Pour about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil on the eggplant.
Rub the eggplant (also from the inside) with the olive oil.
Next, you need 7 oz (200 g) sliced halloumi cheese. Insert a halloumi slice into each slit in the eggplant.
Here we go.
Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons almond flour on top of the eggplant.
Ready to bake.
Bake in the preheated oven at 400 °F (200 °C) for about 40 minutes…
…or until the eggplant is soft and done.
Serve as a light main dish or as a tasty side.
How I came up with this fascinating and easy keto side recipe
After my high-carb times, I have been inventing low-carb ways to make Hasselback-style dishes. For example, years ago, I posted a Hasselback Sausage recipe on my Facebook page. Also, here on this blog, I have posted a recipe for Caprese Tomatoes Hasselback Style among Christmas Appetizers (even the recipe is certainly also perfect for summertime!)
A couple of years ago, I thought eggplant would make a perfect base for a Hasselback-style dish. However, I never managed to try the dish until now, even though the recipe has been hanging on my to-do list.
My first idea was to use Swiss cheese and fill the slits in the eggplant with it, but soon I realized that halloumi cheese would be the ultimate and the best cheese for this dish. Halloumi stands baking and grilling really well, and it’s a perfect match with eggplant. Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese — and eggplant is also widely used in Cyprus.
As Hasselback Potatoes use melted butter (although I have seen recipes with vegetable seed oils like canola oil, yuk), I chose extra-virgin olive oil for my Hasselback Eggplant dish. Again, extra-virgin olive oil is another staple in Cyprus. My personal preferred olive oil is peppery Greek olive oil. You actually don’t need to add pepper to your dish when you use peppery olive oil!
I’m currently in the summer house — and my week has been super busy — so I didn’t have time to experiment with the recipe but just relied on my calculations and the gut feeling.
I took one eggplant, one package (7 oz = 200 g) halloumi cheese, some olive oil, and almond flour to mimic breadcrumbs.
I didn’t have any clue if my idea of Hasselback Eggplant was going to work in practice or not, but I bravely grabbed my camera and started shooting photos while preparing the first experiment.
When inserting the halloumi slices, I was slightly disappointed when the eggplant fell on its side. I had planned to keep it standing boldly upright with the cheese slices.
On the other hand, the eggplant standing on its side made the presentation even more fascinating! Well, I could have placed the eggplant between two halloumi slices to make it stand upright, but I decided to go with the version with the eggplant lying on its side as it looked so special.
After sprinkling some almond flour on top, I was ready to bake my creation. After 40 minutes of baking, the eggplant had turned soft and succulent. It was time to taste the fabulous-looking dish.
I cut a piece and tasted it. The taste was superb! Well, the halloumi wasn’t as salty as I had expected, so the dish needed some extra salt. Other than that, I was extremely happy with the dish. Also, my mom and my son enjoyed the dish when I served it to them. This recipe is a keeper!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 7 oz = 200 g halloumi cheese, in thick slices
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- natural salt if needed
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
- Cut slits in the eggplant, leaving the bottom intact. Make the slices about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
- Rub the eggplant (also the slits) with olive oil (and salt if your halloumi is not salty).
- Insert a halloumi slice into each slit in the eggplant.
- Sprinkle almond flour on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and done.
- Serve as a light main dish or as a tasty side.
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Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
Terra Creta | Certified PDO ORGANIC Extra Virgin Olive Oil 5Ltr | Award Winning | Single Origin & Single Estate Kolymvari | 100% Pure Greek Olive Oil | Cold Extracted | Certified Kosher
Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt - 5 lbs. Extra-Fine Grain
Redmond Real Salt - Ancient Fine Sea Salt, Unrefined Mineral Salt, 26 Ounce Pouch (4 Pack)
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total|
|Protein||45.5 g||11.4 g|
|Fat||82.1 g||20.5 g|
|Net carbs||16.8 g||4.2 g|
|kcal||1004 kcal||251 kcal|
Tips for variations
Instead of halloumi, you can use other sharp or flavorful cheese. Use Swiss cheese, sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack. Other cheese types than halloumi tend to melt, so the looks will be slightly different — but I bet the taste is great!
If you don’t use nuts, sprinkle grated Parmesan on top instead of almond flour.
Garlic and eggplant go enormously well together. Insert some garlic slices to the slits in the eggplant after inserting the cheese.
If your halloumi is on the salty side, you don’t necessarily need to add salt to this dish. However, if your halloumi is bland (like mine), feel free to add 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt and rub it to the eggplant after rubbing the olive oil.
If tang is your thing, drizzle 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the slits in the eggplant before inserting the cheese.
There are many herbs that go well with this dish, for example, mint, parsley, oregano, and rosemary. All the Mediterranean herbs are perfect. By the way, real halloumi uses mint, so you might want to amp up the mint flavor by sprinkling fresh, chopped mint on the dish right before serving.
For fiery flavors, rub the eggplant with red pepper flakes, or dust it extremely light-handedly with cayenne pepper.
For all you bacon lovers out there, sprinkle some fried and crumbled bacon on top before baking — or alternatively right before serving. Another interesting twist is to insert bacon slices in the eggplant together with the cheese.
Since summer is the best grilling season, you can certainly grill your Hasselback Eggplant. Just bake it for about 20 minutes in the oven and grill the rest 20 minutes — or until soft and done.
This week went for planning next week’s festival activities, writing a keto guide, and of course, cooking and baking.
I have been mainly at the summer house with my son and my mom. The weather hasn’t been particularly warm, but it’s still cozy and very calm here in the middle of nowhere. I have been swimming in the lake daily, which has been very refreshing.
The forest is filled with bilberries and wild raspberries. I’ve been picking lots of them. I’ve also found some chanterelles which make a delicious chanterelle quiche — with bacon!
Tomorrow, we’ll have a small product launch as Instagram live for Ketokamu. I will host it here at the summer house. I’m baking a lot (I mean a LOT!), as the product is related to keto baking. Currently, the product will be available only in Finland. I really hope we can go international to also serve the customers abroad.