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Salt & Wind Travel

Zucchini Carpaccio Recipe

Without a doubt this Zucchini Carpaccio is about to become your go-to recipe for the warm summer months. It’s all the things we want from a summer recipe: simple to make, light, and perfect to eat during an alfresco meal. This simple yet sophisticated dish works as a healthy side dish, appetizer, and for various diets, from gluten-free to vegan. Not to mention it’s always a beautiful dish to add to a summertime spread.

This zucchini carpaccio recipe puts the rather humble vegetable in the spotlight with just a few minutes of work. And, it is a perfect recipe to turn to if you find too many zucchini and not enough ways to make it (which often happens to summer gardeners)! 

Zucchini ribbons with pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This raw zucchini salad is a perfect summer side dish for several reasons. Its light and refreshing taste makes it an excellent companion to heavier meals, it can be customized to what you have on hand, and it’s super simple to put together so that you can make it last minute or up to one day ahead.

The thin slices of zucchini soak up the flavors of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and flaky sea salt, while the toasted pine nuts add a delightful crunch. Parmigiano-Reggiano offers a sharp, savory counterpoint to the gentle sweetness of the zucchini, creating a dish that’s as nuanced as it is delicious.

Zucchini Carpaccio Recipe Ingredients

To make this exquisite dish, you will need:

  • Zucchini: Pick medium or small-sized zucchini, as large ones tend to be tougher.
  • Pine Nuts: We like to toast the nuts until golden brown to enhance their flavor.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese: Shave an aged Parmigiano Reggiano so you have paper-thin slices of cheese and get a pop of nutty, salty goodness in each bite.
  • High-quality extra-virgin olive oil: This is the time to bring out the good stuff, be it a buttery olive oil or one with a peppery bite.
  • Flaky sea salt: A pinch of salt is essential! Use a good quality salt like Maldon.

Though few, these ingredients are chosen for their quality and ability to blend harmoniously, each enhancing the other.

How to Make This Recipe

Making this dish is also about simplicity — a few key moves make it wonderful. Here’s how to make this zucchini carpaccio: 

  • Slice The Zucchini: Use a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer to slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/16-inch thin ribbons. Place these zucchini ribbons in a deep dish.
  • Soak In Zucchini: Boil water in a kettle, pour it over the zucchini, add a few large pinches of salt, and let it sit until it becomes bright green and tender. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Dry The Zucchini Ribbons: Drain and pat the zucchini slices dry with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. These prepared ribbons can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. 
  • Serve The Zucchini Carpaccio: When ready to serve, arrange the zucchini on a platter, scatter over the toasted pine nuts and delicate slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Tips For This Recipe

  • Slice Thin: Some people make zucchini carpaccio by cutting the vegetable into coins, but we prefer it cut into long ribbons. This way, you can get a long piece of zucchini with lots of flavor. 
  • Soak In Hot Water: ​Do not skip this step! The soak in hot water is quick, but it removes any chalkiness or overly green notes and brings out the sweet, delicate flavor of ripe zucchini. 
  • Add Lemon If You Wish: Some people top carpaccio with salad dressings, but it overwhelms the zucchini. You can add a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a touch of acid, but it’s not essential in our book. 

Zucchini Carpaccio Variations

This recipe is pretty fabulous as is, but here are some variations: 

  • Change up the nuts: Try it with toasted almonds or hazelnuts
  • Add in fresh herbs like thyme leaves, fresh mint, fresh basil, or fresh dill
  • Switch out the parmesan shavings for crumbled feta cheese or fresh goat cheese
  • Top the carpaccio with lemon zest, black pepper, chimichurri, cilantro chutney, or chili crunch
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What to Pair This Recipe With

This zucchini carpaccio is versatile enough to accompany a wide range of dishes. Pair it with grilled chicken or fish for a light, healthy dinner, or serve it alongside a pasta dish to add a crisp, refreshing contrast. It’s also perfect for adding a sophisticated touch to your weekly dinner menus, especially when entertaining guests.

For a complete meal, consider a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, which complements the zucchini’s fresh, vegetal notes beautifully. This dish embodies the essence of summer and showcases how a few high-quality ingredients can elevate your dining experience.

Chilled Zucchini Soup Recipe

More Zucchini Recipes

Have an excess of zucchini? Here are a few other our of most popular zucchini recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Zucchini carpaccio is a light and refreshing appetizer made from thinly sliced raw zucchini. It is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then dressed with olive oil and garnished with ingredients like shaved Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, fresh herbs (such as basil or mint), and sometimes a touch of balsamic vinegar.

The key to a great zucchini carpaccio is slicing the zucchini very thinly, which can be achieved with a mandoline slicer or a sharp knife.

Variations of zucchini carpaccio can include additional flavors and ingredients to suit different tastes. Some popular variations include adding thinly sliced tomatoes, chopped olives, or capers for a Mediterranean twist. Arugula can be mixed in for a peppery flavor, while crumbled feta or goat cheese provides a creamy texture. For a sweet and tangy balance, you can drizzle honey and lemon dressing over the zucchini.

Zucchini carpaccio is an excellent dish for various dietary needs. It is inherently gluten-free, low in calories, and can easily be adapted to be vegan by omitting Parmesan cheese or substituting it with a vegan alternative. Its raw preparation and simple ingredients make it suitable for paleo and Whole30 diets as well. Always check specific dietary requirements and preferences to ensure all ingredients are compliant.

Zucchini carpaccio can be served as a starter or side dish. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats or fish, making it a versatile addition to any meal. It can also be served over a bed of mixed greens as part of a light salad for lunch. For a more filling option, accompany it with crusty bread or crostini. Its elegant presentation makes it suitable for dinner parties and summer gatherings.

Zucchini carpaccio is best prepared fresh, but you can slice the zucchini up to a few hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator to keep it crisp. Dress the carpaccio just before serving to prevent it from becoming soggy. If you’re using any cheese or nuts as garnishes, adding them at the last minute helps maintain their texture and flavor.

Zucchini Carpaccio Ribbons With Golden Pine Nuts

Delight in our fresh and flavorful zucchini carpaccio recipe, perfect for a light and elegant appetizer. Discover how simple ingredients can transform into a culinary masterpiece!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 162 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 medium zucchini ends trimmed and discarded 
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts  toasted until deep golden brown
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese sliced paper-thin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for garnish
  • Maldon sea salt or other flaky sea salt for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Slice the zucchini. Using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/16-inch thick planks. Place them in a deep dish just to fit.
  • Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to a boil. Once the tea kettle boils, pour the hot water on the zucchini and add a few large pinches of salt. Let the zucchini sit until it’s bright green, tender, and salted for about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Drain the zucchini ribbons and pat them dry. (This step can be done up to one day ahead. Store cooled, dry zucchini in a resealable container in the refrigerator until ready to use.) 
  • Arrange the zucchini ribbons on a serving platter, scattering the well-toasted pine nuts and cheese over the top. Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of oil, top with a pinch of flaky salt, and serve.

PERSONAL NOTES

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 6gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 182mgPotassium: 423mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 378IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy appetizer, easy vegetarian recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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