Recipe: Carpaccio De Courgette Au Vinaigre De Framboise (Zucchini Carpaccio with Raspberry Vinegar)
The original carpacio is a dish of thinly sliced raw beef that was created at Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1950. It was named in honor of the fifteenth-century Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, who favored red colors in his paintings. The term is now used for various dishes that feature raw and thinly sliced ingredients, red or not, even though this admittedly betrays the etymology.
This carpaccio is a good introduction to the crisp and lightly sweet nature of raw zucchini. It should be made with the freshest zucchini you can find, slender young things with smooth skin and firm flesh. Late spring or summer is the best time to pluck them at the farmer’s market, or in your own vegetable garden if you’re fortunate enough to have one (in which case I think you should ship me a crate, thanks much).
- 3 small zucchini
- 3 ounces semidry goat cheese (log shaped or round), crumbled or cut in shavings
- 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (substitute another kind of fruit vinegar)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Fleur de sel or kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
1. Trim the zucchini and cut it in paper-thin slices, using a sharp knife or a mandoline. Arrange in a circular pattern (starting from the outside and working your way in, each slice overlapping the previous one) on individual plates. Sprinkle the cheese over the slices.
2. Whisk together the vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over the zucchini and cheese. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
Raspberry vinegar is made from fresh raspberries macerated in white wine vinegar for a few months. This tangy and fruity condiment can be found in fine foods stores, and will be a prized addition to your vinegar collection: a few drops will as sparkle to your vinaigrettes, sauces, and marinades, especially for fish or duck.
Variations: Use balsamic vinegar in the place of raspberry vinegar, and shavings of Parmesan or crumbled feta instead of goat cheese. You can also toss the zucchini with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and serve it as a salad.
Wine: FREIXENET BRUT DE NOIRS, CAVA ROSE (Spain, Catalonia, sparkling rose) This fresh and mouthwatering bubbly wine displays notes of strawberry and raspberry. It is light enough to respect the delecate zucchini flavor, but it has enough tang and acidity to stand up to the vinegar.
Serves 6 as a starter