Turn that last zucchini in your drawer into a gourmet appetizer or light salad
Don’t know what to do with that last zucchini?
Even if you have half a zucchini left, you can make Zucchini Carpaccio for yourself. Zucchini Carpaccio is a play on regular beef carpaccio, thin-shaved slices of prime tenderloin, topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, salt, freshly ground black pepper, a good squeeze of lemon and a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Instead of beef, we’re using thin-sliced raw zucchini, and we’ll brighten up the dish with feta cheese, nuts and fresh herbs.
Below, there are so many ideas to customize this recipe to make this your own.
Tips for Zucchini Carpaccio
- It’s easiest to use a mandoline slicer – our favorite brand is Mueller, an Austrian brand with really good quality blades. Don’t buy the cheap knock-offs – the blades on those do not stay sharp.
- Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil – all the ingredients are raw, and you’ll really want a buttery, rich olive oil.
- Cheese – use what you have in the refrigerator! Fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano all work great.
- Nuts – totally optional, but we love the crunch! Chop whatever nuts you’d like finely.
- Fresh herbs – again, optional. Use your favorite – basil, thyme, oregano, dill, all are amazing. No fresh herbs? I also love a light sprinkling of smoked paprika. Our favorite is the fronds of a fennel plant. Most people throw this away! Pinch some of the fronds and its deliciously licorice and anise flavor is intoxicating.
Other ingredients that you can add to Zucchini Carpaccio
This is the fun part! Be creative and raid your refrigerator!
- Chopped tomatoes
- 2 handfuls of baby arugula or mixed greens
- Julienned salami or proscuitto
- Julienned banana peppers
- Julienned roasted bell peppers
- Shaved hearts of palm (just slice as thin as you can)
- Serve with a side of toasted baguette
- Use a vegetable peeler and peel long shavings of stalk of thick asparagus
- Thinly sliced smoked salmon
- Crumbled bacon
Zucchini Carpaccio Recipe
- 2 zucchini
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts walnuts, pecan, pine nuts, slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup crumbled or shaved cheese feta, parmesan, goat cheese, smoked gouda
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herb basil, tarragon, dill, oregano, mint, chives
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Thinly slice the zucchini into paper-thin slices with a mandoline slicer. Arrange the zucchini slices slightly overlapping on a large platter.
- Nuts are best toasted, but you can skip this step if you're short on time. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts, and gently toast until fragrant and lightly golden. Immediately remove from heat and sprinkle on the zucchini.
- Sprinkle on the crumbled cheese and fresh herbs. Drizzle on the olive oil, squeeze the lemon all over and season with salt and pepper.