This recipe I’ve encountered in a Catalan village, so simple but highly surprising. We don’t get to see zucchinis uncooked… but it’s actually a pretty good raw veggie. There is a nice crunch to it and it’s got a soft taste that allows the extra-virgin olive oil to shine. Such a beautiful and simple appetizer, all you’ll need is a mandoline or a talent to cut really finely the zucchinis. You would think the protagonist food here is the zucchini, but it isn’t, it’s the olive oil! It’s the perfect meal to taste a delicate and fresh olive oil.
Olive oil… there is so much to say about it, I don’t know where to start. First let’s say, I secretly think it’s the secret to a long life, and the statistic say that spaniards are the second longest living population after Japon… I think it’s due in big part to olive oil. There is all kind of colors, from light golden to green, depending of the maturity and type of olive used. But the color means nothing when it come to the quality of an olive oil, it’s all in the taste. It’s also qui a big world, similar to wine, it get better years than others.
There is so many types of olive oil, in Spain alone there is 262 varieties. In Catalonia, it’s the famous Arbequina olives that is mostly used to produce olive oil. The Arbequina is quite a small olive in itself although it’s got the highest concentrations of oil. It’s a delicate and fruity olive oil, but it tend to oxidize more easily than other varieties. So you need to keep it cool and in the dark to keep it long.
So get that good bottle of olive oil out and that mandoline!
Carpaccio de zucchini
Makes 4 appetizer portions
- 1 zucchini
- few cherry tomatoes
- good extra-virgin olive oil
- black salt (or normal)
- Simply cut super finely the zucchini with a mandoline
- Place in a plate, with cut tomatoes
- Peel some parmesan on top
- Add the olive oil and salt