This simple but elegant presentation of Zucchini Carpaccio Salad with Avocado, Pistachio and Pistachio Oil highlights fresh zucchini in season.
As many of you know, I bought a share in a CSA (“Community Supported Agriculture”) this growing season, which means I pick up a box of local vegetables each week, full of whatever is ripe for the picking from the local farm.
The pluses of joining a CSA are that I am assured a nice selection of farm fresh vegetables every week and that my family has had the chance to try a few vegetables they were not familiar with. So far, our family has been able to consume the entire box of vegetables before the arrival of the next box without a problem.The only downside I can think of is that there are weeks when it seems we are getting tons of zucchini and cucumbers, and I’m not sure what to do with all of them.
So far this summer, I’ve made Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad “Banchan,” Cold Kim Chi Cucumber Soba Noodles, and Indian Cold Cucumber Soup, in addition to just snacking on cucumbers straight up. I’ve also made Zucchini Ribbons tossed with Swiss Chard Garlic Scape Cilantro Pesto and Lemon Juice. One night, I tossed this combination of Zucchini Ribbons and pesto with hot pasta, kalamata olives and fresh tomatoes for a quick dinner.
I found the perfect no-cook zucchini salad recipe to try – a Zucchini Carpaccio Salad with Avocado, Pistachios, and Pistachio Oil (except I used extra virgin olive oil since I didn’t have any Pistachio Oil). When you’re working with such fresh ingredients, little embellishment is needed as evidenced in this simple, straight forward recipe.
When I first started reading about Patricia Wells, she immediately reminded me of Julia Child, an American who had fallen in love with France and taught French cooking. In fact, these two women had an instant connection. By her own account in atouching remembrance written by Patricia Wells, Julia Child was Patricia Well’s “mentor, friend, a model for how to conduct one’s life.” These two women met after Julia Child sent Patricia Wells a fan letter after the publication of Patricia Wells’ first book, The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris. They met in person shortly afterwards, and shared memorable meals, pictures, and other momentos of Julia Child’s trips to France. When Julia Child decided to close down her summer home for good, Patricia Wells bought her stove and installed it in her summer kitchen.
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Lemon Zest Salt
- 3 tablespoons best-quality pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 4 small, fresh zucchini, rinsed and trimmed at both ends
- 1 large ripe avocado
- ½ cup salted pistachios
- 4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs, with flowers if possible
- Fleur de sel (or other high quality sea salt)
- Combine the zest and salt in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Transfer to a small jar and close the lid.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- To make dressing, combine lemon juice and flavored salt in a jar. Cover with the lid and shake to blend. Add the oil and shake to blend. (You can also whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.)
- With a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise as thin as possible. Arrange the slices on a platter and pour the dressing over them.
- Tilt the platter back and forth to coat the slices evenly.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, so the zucchini absorbs the dressing and does not dry out.
- Halve, pit and peel the avocado, and cut it lengthwise into very thin slices.
- Carefully arrange the slices of marinated zucchini on individual salad plates, alternating with the avocado slices, slightly overlapping them.
- Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts.
- Garnish with the thyme sprigs an flowers and fleur de sel.