Happy Labor Day! I hope you have something lovely planned, some sort of End~of~the~Summer~here~comes~Fall kindofa shin dig.
We’re headed out for a family picnic but first I wanted to leave you with a recipe and a picnic~ey Labor Day menu.
The recipe is for a zucchini carpaccio~a salad of sorts, but a different kind of picnic salad in that it is light on the dressing without compromising any flavor. It also makes a lovely presentation if you have a nice serving dish on hand.
This recipe requires the homemade ricotta cheese that was posted on Friday. If you don’t have the time to make the cheese, I totally understand; but I highly recommend giving it a try as it requires very little effort and makes all the difference in the world.
The texture and flavor is ideal if the zucchini is sliced so thin you could read the newspaper through it. I will be the first to admit this is much easier said than done, and if you look close enough all of my slices aren’t as even and thin as they should be. I say: just aim for getting them thin and if you can’t don’t worry. It will taste wonderful and look pretty anyway.
Arrange the slices on your serving dish, cover with thinly sliced purple onion, and lightly dress with a combination of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Finish by dotting with the ricotta cheese and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
The carpaccio is nice with just about any meat that has been grilled or roasted. I would recommend serving it with:
If you feel you need to add something to make the menu a little more substantial you could also serve:
Make enough crust for two pies; one for this dish and one for dessert . While you are roasting your tomatoes you can also roast some apricots for:
You’ll have a menu that is light, different, and can be made up in advance. I hope you enjoy it.
Ya’ll have a safe and happy Labor Day!
Zucchini Carpaccio with Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 medium zucchini
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 of a red onion very thinly sliced
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t basil
homemade ricotta cheese (half recipe)
Cut zucchini into paper-thin rounds and arrange on a large platter. Add onions. Whisk lemon juice and oil in small bowl. Add basil. Drizzle dressing evenly over zucchini. Add ricotta cheese by small spoonfuls. Season with coarse salt and pepper and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Adapted from the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine