I was driving home today and had to stop to take this picture. The Red Bud trees in our area are just exquisite right now. A beautiful bright pink color that just takes your breath away! I love this time of year!
With the arrival of Spring comes a lighter style of cooking. No longer do I crave Coq au Vin or Beef Bourguignonne, but rather grilled fish & lighter salads. The grill takes over where my oven leaves off! We once again return to our back porch in the evening to enjoy dinner & wine. All these things I love about Spring!
Recently, I happened to see Tyler Florence prepare a very interesting salad called Zucchini Carpaccio that I knew I had to try. It consists of slicing zucchini paper thin (a mandolin comes in very handy for this), drizzling with fresh lemon juice & olive oil, salt & pepper, thinly sliced leeks and topped with shaved parmesan & fresh mint. Instead of throwing everything into a bowl, I fanned the little rounds out onto a dish so I’d be sure the dressing got distributed over everything. It was outstanding! Very fresh and very delicious! My 13 year old thought it was cucumbers. AFTER he had 3 helpings and raved about how great it was, you should have seen his face when I confessed it was actually zucchini (which he never would eat before!)…PRICELESS!
I think it helps to let this salad sit for about 15-20 minutes, so I prepare it first before my main dish. Depending on how big your dish is, you might want to double the recipe.
I couldn’t decide which picture I liked best, so here are both, and I’ll leave you tonight with this:
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. ~Anne Bradstreet
adapted from Tyler Florence
- 2 medium zucchini
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 leek, white part only, sliced thinly
- 1/4 pound piece Parmesan
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice zucchini into very thin rounds. Overlap zucchini disks in 1 layer on a plate; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the olive oil and lemon juice and scatter with leeks. Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, shave very thin slices of Parmesan and place them over leeks. Garnish with mint leaves. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the flavors.