Clotilde’s Carpaccio

June 19, 2007 | By | COMMENTS

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I’ve been sleeping with Clotilde. Since Craig’s left for Seattle to shoot his first feature (I’ll be there in a week to join him for two weeks), I had no choice but to find a substitute. And that substitute is everyone’s favorite Parisian food blogger. Well. Ok. Not her. Her cookbook. I’ve been reading it in bed and when I wake up the next morning it’s right there next to me smiling “hello.” Is it weird that I talk to it at breakfast? Help it to the bathroom? Take it out to lunch? That’s the normal way to treat a cookbook, right?

Well can I help it if I’m smitten? The book is adorable and smart and filled with good ideas, just like its creator. And even though I’ve had the book for a few weeks, I’ve found it very difficult to choose a first recipe to try from it: they all look so good. The mustard chicken is the one that makes my lips smack the loudest, but I think it’s too hot for mustard chicken. Plus I made chicken last night for dinner. And it’s called “Chocolate & Zucchini,” shouldn’t I make something with zucchini in it?

The picture you see above, then, was my solution. I was at the farmer’s market today and saw, for the first time this season, piles of gorgeous, bright green zucchini. I chose two large ones (even though Clotilde says to choose three small ones–I didn’t have the book with me, I had taken it to the park where it wanted some private time) and brought them home and proceeded to make her “Carpaccio De Courgette Au Vinaigre De Framboise.” Only I didn’t use Vinaigre De Framboise (raspberry vinegar): I had Balsamic. But that was ok: Clotilde mentions Balsamic as a variation.

This recipe is so simple you can just memorize it. You slice the zucchini very thin (I need better knife skills, as you can tell by that photo), put them in a circular pattern on the plate, scatter goat cheese over the top (I bought fresh chevre at the farmer’s market too). Then you make a vinagirette with olive oil and the vinegar, though I just drizzled the olive oil over the top, along with a few drops of the Balsamic. I spinkled on some nice sea salt and a few grindings of pepper and did as Clotilde commanded: covered it with plastic and let it sit, at room temperature, for ten minutes.

Ten minutes later, I sat down and consumed this strange and delightful dish. It’s hard to explain why it’s so good: maybe because the zucchini is so good right now, and this dish highlights its vegetal brightness? Or is it the way the cheese gives it body and the oil a slickness and the vinegar a zippy punch? I don’t know, but I loved it. Along with some fresh bread, this was my dinner. And I was happy.

Only the book hasn’t come home yet. Maybe I shouldn’t have left it at the park? Who will I sleep with tonight? Any takers?

Tags: ,

Categories: Recipes, Vegetarian

  • http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com Mar

    I’ve got every ingredient you list, so I’ve just decided what dinner will be tonight. And I’m a big fan of Clotilde, too. You and her are the main inspirations to my Catalan language blog… Have you thought about having children with her? They’d be to food blogging what the Agassi/Seles kids could be to tennis!

  • http://www.judithgreenwood.com/thinkonit/ Judith in Umbria

    Adam, you work for a food mag and write a food blog. Get a mandolin or better yet a Benriner. Watch your fingers, those suckers are sharp!

  • http://chewonthat.blogspot.com Hillary

    Clotilde’s Carpaccio de Courgette seems to be an inspiration to many! I came across Blog Appetit’s rendition today as well (http://clickblogappetit.blogspot.com/2007/06/chocolate-zucchini-cookbook-and-recipe.html)!

  • http://almostvegetarian.blogspot.com almost vegetarian

    This is exactly the type of vegetable recipe I love best: Fast, easy, simple, and incredibly tasty. Oh, as for the knife skills, I do have a wee tip: Use a mandoline. Makes everything perfect.

    Cheers!

  • http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com Mar

    I’ve just tried it and really enjoyed it. Oddly enough, I’ve only used half a zuchinni, though… But it’s so easy and impressive looking, I’ll be repeating soon.

  • http://www.rees26.blogspot.com Rees

    Her book is fantastic!! Try the curry cheese puffs – they are delish.

  • Mlotek

    ok. Its horrible enough to use the word Carpaccio when the ingredient is zucchini, but to still call something Carpaccio when it is 1/4 inch thick is ludacris… this is a zucchini salad, which I am sure was perfectly good, but lets leave off the affectations.

  • lilly

    don’t feel strange- i’ve had the book since it first came out and have basically been sleeping with it myself… I’ve tried several of the recipes, but not the mustard chicken or the zucchini carpaccio yet- but i must say the chocolate and zucchini cake is SOOO GOOD and if you’re looking for something else with zucchini, go for that!

  • lilly

    by the way… using a mandoline would make slicing the zucchini much easier for the carpaccio- if you don’t have one, I would definately suggest investing in one- they’re not too expensive and incredibly useful

  • http://www.burghilicious.com Lauren

    I got Clotilde’s cookbook myself, as a gift for my mom. I almost cried when I gave it to her, but I took comfort in the fact that I made no fewer than six of the absolutely gorgeous recipes before she snuck it away from me. I guess it was hers, after all.

  • http://thehungryphase.wordpress.com LondonM

    Seems that variations on this recipe have been springing up everywhere! I don’t have a mandoline either, but just used a peeler lengthwise along the zucchini. The resulting tangle of paper-thin ribbons had great ‘mouth-feel,’ especially tossed with slices of avocado instead of the feta.

  • Deb

    OMG…I bought this book because of you and it is AMAZING!!! I love her blog anyway but the book is so well done. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.lauraflorand.com Laura at Blame It on Paris

    This is exactly the kind of recipe my French in-laws love, so simple and so good, provided the ingredients are good. Ma belle-mère taught me this one, or maybe mes oncles, but without Clotilde’s wonderful addition of chèvre, which I will have to try. Thanks for sharing this variation, with zucchinis in season I have been planning to make it. Now I have an added incentive!

  • Kelly

    Why don’t you buy a mandolin, you don’t need skills for that. Other then not slicing your fingers off! I love mine.

  • http://my.msn.com./ sweetpotatopie

    I can’t wait to try this recipe but thought of adding some thin sliced yellow squash not just for color but because their one of my favorites and also in season.

  • Al Jops

    Since I had them on hand I added some drained diced tomatoes and substituted Macadamia Nut oil. Tasty!

  • Jules

    Add mint your vinegrette. Mint and zucchini are fab together! Also you can subsitute feta if you are short on goat cheese. Delish!