Saturday, July 28, 2012

Go Green with Zucchini Carpaccio


Hello! I've been silent for a week, yes, but to tell you the truth, I've been containing my excitement the whole week through! At last, now I could write about the reason why.  Here, let me tell you.

Close friends and family know that I like green. Mint green, apple green, lime green, I love them all! That's why the first time I came across Patricia Wells' Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado and Pistachios I so fell in love with how it looks. I kept dreaming about it but I couldn't complete the ingredients as avocado was not yet in season then. Until one day, a friend gifted me with a bunch of avocados. (Thanks to Ruby!) So there, I remembered the zucchini with avocado salad. 


 I'm not very good at choosing good avocados and deciding when they are ready to eat.   I just learned that there are several varieties of avocado. Definitely it's not the Hass variety because this type turns purple to black. The ones I have stay green even when ripe. I believe this is of the Reed variety

Taken from the Green Wala Blog Site
 I experimented on the recipe for the first time last Sunday, using my Mandoline slicer to get  thin uniform slices of the zucchini. 

Preparing to slice just half of the zucchini for a start
It took me some trial and error the first time I sliced the zucchini. I had to find the most appropriate number to get the ideal thinness. It took me two to three rotations of the mandoline slicer until I finally settled to number 1. (By the way, my Madoline Slicer was given to me by my friend, Malette, in the early 90s, when I was a very young wife and mother. I have learned to love it more and more each day.)

Thanks to my Mandoline Slicer. Another favorite kitchen mate that has made my life in the kitchen so enjoyable!
Preparing to add lemon zest salt and juice dressing to the zucchini slices
 
Waiting for the zucchini to absorb the lemon zest dressing
Voila! Here it is, minus the pistachios
 I really had no idea how raw zucchini tasted as I usually made ratatouille and zucchini fritters for my family. I must admit I felt awkward as I was about to taste the raw zucchini with lemon dressing. Surprisingly, I was enamored with the taste! It called for raised eyebrows when my husband heard my noisy plead for my younger daughter, Ana Cristina, to take pictures of the finished product.
 
 I so love the perfect blend of lemon on the zucchini that I wanted to share it with my friends (because except for ratatouille, my family is not very fond of zucchini :( Such a pity!). And so I did! I gave my veggie-lover officemates a taste of it. I was not mistaken, they also liked it. It also blended well with the raw talinum (talilong) Charisse brought for lunch. I promised them I would bring more of it the following day.

 And so, I repeated the performance I did last Sunday. This time, with chopped pistachios, to perfect Patricia Wells' recipe.


 
          Thanks to Daisy for the lemon!     This time I sliced the zucchini lengthwise. 
                                           I was so contented at having hit the desired thinness.


 Spur of the moment decision--- I also decided to give Chef Dolly a taste of it. If you read my previous post, "The Salad Experience --- Inspired by Chef Dolly" (click here), I featured some of her nutritious vegetable salads there. 

My hands trembled and my heart thudded with excitement as I alternately arranged the zucchini and avocado slices together, trying hard to copy the way Patricia Wells did it, praying at the same time that my new discovery would meet the standards of Chef Dolly's taste buds (you see, one time, I saw her slowly chew, with her eyes closed, a slice of homemade chicken longganisa brought in front of her, and she guessed what shortening and specific part of the chicken was used).

Well, I believe my efforts were worth it as Chef Dolly said she liked it :) and she also let me into an important secret that spells success for this dish. ONE SHOULD CATCH THE AVOCADO BEFORE IT GETS RIPE (manibalang in Tagalog). And this I found out for my own self the second time around. JUST POUR ENOUGH AMOUNT OF LEMON ZEST DRESSING TO COAT AND BE ABSORBED BY ALL THE ZUCCHINI SLICES as excess dressing would make it watery if allowed to stand.

So here's my Zucchini Carpaccio!



With chopped pistachios


Here's how Patricia Wells' original recipe for Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado and Pistachios looks.

Photo taken from Food52.com
 
Wanna try it? Oh please do! And kindly do me a favor. Please write on the comment box below your own experience on this menu. I would love that!

Happy weekend!

5 comments:

  1. Hello mam Eve, Bravo again! What I particularly liked about this appetizer was the summation of texture when I added Talinum leaves but it itself, it was fantastic. It tasted wonderful with poultry and beef during the two days' lunch that we had and it has greatly improved the ambiance for the the boring "brown bag lunches' that i should have faced if not for this treat.
    Im looking forward for another recipe!

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    1. Thanks, Cha! More quick and easy recipes coming up next!

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  2. Thank you for all the tips you've shared Eve. Although to be honest I don't work with Zuchinis a lot, and my avocado is always used the way we Filipinos love--with sugar and milk haha. Nonetheless, I imagined that the different texture: silkiness and crunchyness lend a beautiful blend in your mouth.

    I hope you had a great weekend!
    malou

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  3. Yum! Avocados are in season and cheap around here, so I am going to try this! The lemon dressing sounds amazing!
    xo Jaime

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jaime, how did you find your trial of this recipe?

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