Zucchini Carpaccio, Two Ways

Fresh summer zucchini is great. Mild and sweet, it provides a great canvas for other flavors. It’s fantastic sautéed or roasted, but it also really shines when raw.

Recently I did zucchini carpaccio back to back nights. The first was a spur of the moment type thing based on the fact that I received some yellow zucchini my CSA and the fact that I had just bought a new mandoline. Basically I just used whatever I had in the fridge to put together a nice little salad. It worked out so well that the next night I refined it a little bit with a twist on the same idea.

Zucchini Carpaccio #1

For my first attempt at this dish I used the zucchini, a Mediterranean feta salad I’d picked up at Whole Foods, fresh mint and chives for some herbs and good olive oil and champagne vinegar for acid. I sliced about 2/3 of the zucchini into rounds and laid them out in a mosaic on the plate. Then I dotted the plate with the feta salad, which had oregano, red pepper, sun dried tomato and other assorted ingredients and sprinkled it with torn mint leaves and chives. I took the rest of the zucchini and shaved it the long way, to create thick rectangular slices I could stand up for plating. I finished it off by drizzling the whole thing with olive oil and vinegar, along with a big of black pepper and salt.

Overall the dish came out quite well. Given that it was basically what I had on hand and was thrown together quickly. The zucchini came through nicely and wasn’t overwhelmed, yet still provided a nice canvas for all the other flavors.

Zucchini Carpaccio #2

The next night I had gone to a grocery store and put together a slightly more refined version of the dish. Obviously, from the picture, the zucchini were prepped the same way, but everything else was a little different. Instead of a store bought feta salad I used a fresh, aged sheep’s milk feta from France. I also added kalamata olives and capers. The herbs were mint, which had been really successful in the first edition, but basil instead of the chives, which got lost the first time around. Fresh lemon juice and some lemon zest replaced the vinegar, for a fresher acidic bite. Lastly, I topped the whole thing with some shaved parmesan which gave it a bit more depth and savoriness.

This version of the carpaccio was a lot more successful. The capers and fresh lemon gave it a much better twang and the basil really stood out with the mint.

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~ by Remy on July 8, 2010.

One Response to “Zucchini Carpaccio, Two Ways”

  1. beautiful. now start cooking some of this stuff over at my house!

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