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Francesca's Zucchini Carpaccio

For 4-6 Servings

How did new-wave raw zucchini carpaccio, a vegetarian variation of a Venetian raw meat appetizer, wind up on the menu of Borgo Antico, a popular neighborhood pizzeria around the corner from my apartment? Florentine Francesca Cianci moved to New York and cooked at the restaurant Mezzaluna for 5 years, came home in 1990, and got a job managing Borgo Antico. She added stylish but simple dishes to the menu, using the produce from the farmers at the Santo Spirito market in front of the restaurant. Francesca now cooks at Il Borghetto, an elegant country inn in Montefiridolfi outside Florence, and Borgo Antico no longer serves her zucchini carpaccio. But I make it all the time when the farmers at the market sell fresh, just-picked zucchini since it's one of fastest recipes I know, and almost effortless appetizer with no cooking and only five ingredients plus salt and pepper. Each one should be of the highest quality. Fresh seasonal zucchini are imperative and flaccid supermarket zucchini should be avoided. I hand-slice tender zucchini, using a 1-mm food processor blade like a mandoline for thin, uniform results and use a potato peeler to produce curls of Parmigiano cheese. Two medium-sized zucchini, sliced paper thin, can cover an entire platter.


  1. Trim the ends off the zucchini and slice into paper-thin rounds on a mandoline, meat slicer, or with a 1-mm food processor blade. Be careful. Put the zucchini on a large serving platter.

  2. Chop the arugula and sprinkle it over the zucchini.

  3. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Shave curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano directly over the platter to cover the zucchini and arugula. Serve immediately.

Recipes from Red, White & Greens

Rustic Tomato-Rubbed Garlic Bread

Francesca's Zucchini Carpaccio

Tuscan Tuna and Beans white or Green

Tomato and Mozarella Salad from Capri

Recipe from:

Red, White & Greens
by Faith Willinger
September 11, 1996;
ISBN 0-06-018366-7
Reprinted with permission

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Lisa Ekus Presents...

Copyright © 1996—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.