The modern Italian diet is rich in raw foods. This is not only because it is light and healthy but also because of the freshness and intense flavor of the marvelous ingredients available in our markets.
The term “carpaccio” originally referred to a dish of thinly sliced raw beef cured in lemon juice and served with olive oil and slivers of Parmesan, truffle or a Worcestershire-Mayo sauce.
The term carpaccio has now been extended to any citrus-marinated thinly sliced food, including fish and vegetables.
In the case of this recipe, raw zucchini are sliced paper-thin using a cheese slicer or mandolin and tenderized in a garlic-lemon dressing.
• 2 medium zucchini
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 3 tablespoon olive oil
• 3 tablespoon toasted pine nuts (pignoli) or almonds
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
• 1 teaspoon raw honey or a tablespoon raisins (optional)
Slice the zucchini as thin as you can without breaking the slices and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place in a colander for 30 minutes to remove the excess moisture. Dry with kitchen paper and arrange the zucchini in layers on a shallow serving dish adding 2-3 slices of garlic between layers. Drizzle with lemon juice and marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to one hour.
If you have more than 2 layers, you might need to turn the zucchini upside down every 15 min to coat them evenly with the lemon juice. Before serving, remove the garlic slices, drizzle with a fruity olive oil and top with chopped toasted nuts and, if you wish, a few drops of runny honey or a few raisins.
Serves 4 as a side vegetable or as part of an antipasto misto, a mixed appetizer.