07 July 2009

Zucchini Carpaccio

If you haven't already discovered this delectable way to prepare zucchini, then you must run, not walk and beg, borrow, or steal some of the freshest and firmest zucchini that you can find. Or if you are the law abiding type, then just purchase some from your favorite green grocer, farmer's market or pick some from your patch and make this for lunch or dinner right now.
It is that good, honest.
I like zucchini as much as the next person, but must say they can get a bit done, so to speak. So when I brought these home the other day. I was struck by their solid texture and freshness, that I knew that these were just the ticket for a raw offering for the day.
This really couldn't be simpler, doesn't really require a "formal" recipe, lends itself to endless variations and comes together in a flash. So what are you waiting for? Oh your zucchini to be ripe? Well, like I said before, get thee to a grocery. OK, enough with the string of cliches, and on to the preparation and best of all the eating.
Buon appetito!

Zucchini Carpacio
Serves 4
2 zucchini, medium, firm and fresh
1/2 lemon
olive oil, extra virgin and flavorful
Chives or thinly sliced red onion if you like
Mint, fresh spearmint or basil if you prefer
salt of choice, coarse pink works for me although one of the smoky varieties would be tasty

Slice your zucchini on a mandolin or as thin as humanly possible
Arrange slices as a single layer on a plate.
Salt to taste
Squeeze your lemon juice over all.
Liberally sprinkle fresh snipped mint and chives to cover
Add a second layer of zucchini if they didn't all fit the first round.
Repeat with herbs, lemon juice and salt.
Drizzle oil over all.

Cooks notes and variations
Cheese, very optional, Parmesan thinly slivered or a crumbled, salty firm goat cheese
I found the cheese somewhat overwhelmed the subtle flavors of the zucchini and the oil, and enjoyed it without.
Chopped tomatoes and olives make another nice variation.
And of course basil is a natural with zucchini.
I think lime would be fantastic if I run across any, as they are few and far between here, oddly enough.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

What a wonderful and simply flavoured dish to enjoy this seasonal veggie:D

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

A very simple dish, never would of thought to eat them raw!! Lovely flavours so I am sure it is tasty :-)

Bella Baita Marla said...

I think it is the simplicity that really makes the flavors stand out. I'm with you Anne, for so long, I had contemplated it but just hadn't gotten around to it till I came across these zukes that just screamed, "eat me raw", so I obeyed.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Thanks Marla, I'm growing zucchini in my garden and I never tried it like this. Hope you're enjoying your summer!

Rowena said...

This year I decided to grow both the regular long zucchini and the round ones, and while I've harvest a few of the regular ones, I'm still waiting for the others. Where is the sun? That's all it would take is sunlight each and every day with a minimum of 23°C.

When the zukes are ready you bet I'll be making this. My freezer is already full of peas, carrots and rattail radishes!

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