Squash Carpaccio With Arugula, Pecorino & Almonds
When shaved thinly, vegetables that you might not normally eat raw present new possibilities. Long, straight-sided summer squashes like green and yellow zucchini look like wide ribbons when shaved for this salad. A brief rest in a garlicky vinaigrette renders them supple, so they can be tossed with arugula and shavings of salty cheese. Zephyr squash, a straightneck variety, would be ideal for this recipe because each squash has both yellow and green markings.
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 lb. small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow varieties, no more than 5″ long
2-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced to a paste
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 handfuls of arugula (about 3 oz.)
Chunk of pecorino toscano, ricotta salata, or other medium-aged pecorino cheese, for shaving
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2: Trim the ends of the zucchini. With a mandoline or other manual vegetable slicer, or a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini thinly lengthwise. Discard the first and last slices of each squash, which are mostly skin. Put the zucchini ribbons in a large bowl.
Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste. Add the dressing to the shaved zucchini and toss with your hands to coat it evenly. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the zucchini to soften.
Step 4: Add the arugula to the zucchini. With a cheese plane or vegetable peeler, shave about 3 oz. of cheese, or as much as you like, into the bowl. Add several grinds of black pepper, then toss gently with your hands. Transfer the salad to a serving platter, leaving any watery juices behind. Top with the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Sur La Table and Janet Fletcher’s Eating Local (2010 Andrews McMeel).