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Those giant ones would keep us in zucchini bread and soup all winter! Today I grill almost all my vegetables, and zucchinis are one of my favorites.

Slice a zucchini 1/4-inch thick on a diagonal, brush with olive oil and a pinch of granulated garlic on both sides and grill them on a really hot indoor or outdoor grill pan. It usually takes two to three minutes to form grill marks on each side. Lay them evenly on a platter, and sprinkle some fresh thyme, oregano, kosher salt, cracked pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice! You can crumble some Greek feta cheese on top! 

Cut them lengthwise (top to bottom), 1/4-inch thick, grill them the same way using same ingredients, cool on a platter then and add a teaspoon of fresh ricotta or goat cheese on the end with a fresh basil leaf, roll them up into a tiny cylinder and place a toothpick through to hold it together. Great appetizer!

Cucumbers in the summer are peak in flavor and texture. There is nothing like a crunchy salad of sliced cucumbers with fresh chopped basil, mint, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice and kosher salt. I loved the extra crunch of the salt as the freshness of the cool cucumbers comes through with the tang of the lemon and the fruitiness of the olive oil. The fresh herbs are an added flavor that enhances this simple-but-delicious taste sensation!

I came up with a recipe for Zucchini and Cucumber Carpaccio while being served an appetizer in one of my favorite Italian restaurants here in Los Angeles, E Baldi. I ordered an appetizer of sashimi consisting of paper-thin slices of tuna, yellowtail and salmon topped with micro greens. The presentation looked so beautiful. When I was trying to find yet another way to serve my veggies, I thought if they can do that with fish, why not veggies? I used my handheld slicer that slices vegetables paper thin. You can purchase a ceramic vegetable slicer at Williams-Sonoma. It looks like a cheese grater with a ceramic blade. I slice cucumbers and zucchinis, arranged them on a round serving plate and lay them alternately until the entire platter is covered. It turns out to be beautiful and impressive.

You can make individual servings as well—everyone will ooh and ahh!

It’s different, it looks beautiful and everyone will love how delicious and light is it!

Sending "a big bowl of love" from the garden!

Love,
Cristina



 
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