Simple is no slight when it comes to great food.  Simple dishes don’t have to be simple flavors at all.  They can pack a real punch, and can also be among the most visually stunning.   For example, is this recipe video, I’ll show you how I make a zucchini (or squash) carpaccio; and it hard to find a simpler dish that doesn’t skimp at all on flavor.  Carpaccio is traditionally make with beef, but a few years ago, I started make vegetable carpaccio's; based on what's in season.  This zucchini carpaccio recipe only has five ingredients, none of which are cooked.  That means you can make it in about 10 minutes, start to finish.  It makes a great summer salad, side dish, or even a starter for an elegant dinner party.  Hope you enjoy it!


Ingredients for Zucchini Carpaccio (for 2)

  • 1 small zucchini (you can do with squash as well)
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
  • 1 sprig of fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 Lemon – for the juice
  • Good olive oil

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

There are two things I want you to pay attention to in this recipe…and they generally will apply to all carpaccios:

  1. Slice the zucchini very thinly.  It really helps to have a sharp knife, and a confident touch.  Take your time, as you’re looking for paper thin slices.  If you can’t get them that thin with a knife, try using a potato peeler
  2. This dish, like all carpaccios and salads, is about balance.  Don’t overload on any single ingredient…remember that less is more when it comes to the lemon, cheese, nuts and tarragon.

Making Zucchini Carpaccio

  • Toast the pine nuts and set aside
  • Remove the top of the zucchini and discard.  Slice the zucchini into paper thin (can’t emphasize enough how thin they should be) rounds; you’ll need about 10 slices per person
  • Lay the slices out on a plate, slightly overlapping on one side. This technique creates the visual appeal and you can do straight lines like I do in the video, circles, or any other shape
  • Season the zucchini pieces with salt and pepper
  • Spread a few of the tarragon leaves, pine nuts and a dusting of the parmesan cheese around the squash slices; I’d suggest you use both sparingly, as you want to make sure that you’ll be able to taste the zucchini
  • Drizzle with the olive oil, and the lemon

It’s that simple….this carpaccio is great in the middle of summer when the zucchini is fresh, and it makes a great snack, along with a cool glass of white wine, or a starter salad for a nice dinner.  Hope you enjoy it!!

Wine Pairing Recommendation: Chardonnay or Fume Blanc

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