Spring is in the Air! Zucchini Carpaccio

Red Bud Tree

Red Bud Tree

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

Zucchini Carpaccio

Zucchini Carpaccio

Zucchini Carpaccio

Zucchini Carpaccio

Zucchini Carpaccio

adapted from Tyler Florence

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

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.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi,

    As we eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs, this was truly a dish that was delicious both visually and physically. Even though I often cook for only myself, I always take the time to make the food as beautiful as possible. Thanks for including me in your wonderful blog! I’ll look forward to it every day!

  2. This looks awesome! I love zucchini! I raise it in my garden so I will bookmark this recipe!

    Can’t wait to meet you at Camp Blogaway!

    Stockpiling Moms

  3. Liz,
    Thank you so much for your e-mail and I look forward to camping with you and Alexis! Your blog is off to a wonderful start, and this zucchini dish will be on my table very soon – it sounds so Spring-ish and lovely!

  4. Can’t wait to try this out!It sounds like something we could enjoy on the back porch with some vino!!!

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