About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Shaved Zucchini and Arugula Salad

This is my version of a recipe from Faith Willinger's book Red White & Greens for Zucchini Carpaccio. Her version calls for slicing the zucchini into very thin rounds and laying it out on a platter, much like classic beef carpaccio. I like to slice the zucchini lengthwise into ribbons and pile them in the center of the plate or platter and then finish arranging the dish. I also prefer to use a good red wine vinegar or my favorite Merlot Agrodolce (sweet & sour) vinegar instead of blasamic vinegar. Whatever vinegar you choose to use, it shouldn't be too harsh.

The key to success for this dish is to use the freshest zucchini possible and you may want to try different varieties of zucchini to find one that you like for eating raw. The other trick to getting this dish right is slicing the zucchini. I use an inexpensive Benriner slicer most of the time or if I'm going to be preparing a larger amount I'll haul out my big stainless steel mandolin slicer.

Slice the zucchini so that the ribbons aren't so thin that they collapse under their own weight, but not so thick that they are too thick to curl easily. It doesn't really matter that some are too thin or thick, once all the zucchini are piled together they will look fine. But I also find that the texture of the raw zucchini is most pleasant to my taste when it is sliced just right.

Shaved Zucchini and Arugula Salad

2 small very fresh zucchini
1 small bunch of arugula, coarsely chopped or torn
Red Wine Vinegar, best quality, 2 to 3 teaspoons
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Freshly ground pepper

Slice the zucchini into very thin strips that will curl prettily on the plate. Mound the zucchini in the center of each plate or on one large platter. Scatter the arugula over the zucchini, drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Shave the parmigiano as thinly as possible with the slicer or a vegetable peeler directly over the salad and serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

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