June 27, 2008

Tyler's Zucchini Carpaccio

I first saw this beautiful carpaccio a while back and have been dying to make it ever since, but could never find the right occasion. I finally got my chance when the lovely L&P stopped by for dinner one weekend night. L is an amazing and truly talented singer who comes over frequently to "jam" with the soon-to-be-hubby. The two of them are even doing a performance at our wedding! Normally, we just order in when L comes over, but I thought, in the spirit of this blog, that I would give some of my "too much food for only 2 people" recipes a shot. Plus, P & I would need some serious sustenance for all the hard listening and critiquing we would have to do. ;)

This carpaccio was all I could have ever hoped for. It was refreshing and light, perfect for the sauna-like weather we have been experiencing here in NYC. The ricotta provides a beautifully smooth contrast to the crisp, thin slices of zucchini. The leeks, olive oil, herbs and lemon juice all combine to make a wonderful appetizer that is substantial feeling, even if it is just a bit of cut up veggies and cheese. Best of all, there is absolutely no cooking involved! In fact, if you own one of the fancy mandolin things, this would be an absolute breeze to put together. I actually received one as a shower present, but it's still up in Canada for a few weekends so I made do with just a regular knife and a little patience. Slicing it by hand was surprisingly simple and took no more than a handful of minutes.

This was a real crowd pleaser at my table and is a definite make for the next time you have company coming over.

Zucchini Carpaccio
Adapted from Tyler's Ultimate - Tyler Florence

2 zucchini (or enough to fill your platter), sliced into very fine rounds
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 leek, cleaned well, white and light green parts sliced into very thin rings
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used dill and chives, but could use whatever you like)
1 cup ricotta cheese
Fresh mint, small handful chopped finely

  • Lay the zucchini slices out in an overlapping circular pattern around the platter.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil (enough to lightly cover all zucchini) and the lemon juice on top.
  • Place platter in the fridge for about 10 minutes so that all the flavors can meld together.
  • Scatter leeks and herbs on top.
  • Place teaspoon size rounds of the ricotta sporadically around platter and then scatter chopped mint on top.

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