Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Zucchini Carpaccio

Jeff likes to joke that the only vegetable I’ll eat is broccoli, which he happens to hate. We have many things in common, but we are definitely not compatible when it comes to veggies. He loves eggplant and beans and I love broccoli and salads. Seriously, we’ve been known to cook his and her vegetables.

What’s really at issue is I basically prefer my vegetables raw. I’m not sure why but maybe it has to do with all those yucky canned vegetables I was forced to eat growing up (well, really my dog ate as I furtively fed them to him under the table). As a result, I am the mistress of salads. Our friends and guests always remark on how many salad dressings we have in our refrigerator. But my salads are not just the garden-lettuce variety, I like to make vegetable salads including this light, refreshing, raw zucchini salad.

The zucchini carpaccio recipe is inspired by Food Network’s Tyler Florence. He is a great chef but his recipes are usually way too high in fat for us. Occasionally though he has a recipe that we can make without a prescription for Crestor. The thinly-sliced zucchini laid down in concentric circles makes for a beautiful presentation, and it goes well with just about anything--fish, chicken or pork. 
Zucchini Carpaccio

Serves 4
Ingredients
2 zucchini (1 green, 1 yellow, if possible)
1 tbls. olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup basil leaves, chiffonaded (very thinly sliced)

Preparation
Using a sharp knife (or mandolin), slice zucchini into very thin rounds. Overlap zucchini in 1 layer on a round plate in concentric circles. If using different colors, alternate colors.
Fill a bowl with water. Slice leeks and put in water and swirl around vigorously. Let stand for a few minutes so the grit and dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the leeks out with a slotted spoon or your hands and drain and dry them. Scatter them on top of the zucchini. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice and add salt and pepper. Set in refrigerator for up to one hour to let the zucchini marinate a bit.
When ready to serve, let the zucchini come to room temperature and then sprinkle the goat cheese and basil on top.

Raw is good!

Tips and Tidbits
This tastes just as good all tossed together in a salad bowl. You can also substitute the type of cheese and herbs you use—try feta, Parmesan or ricotta and mint, marjoram or chervil.

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