Marinated salad of zucchini, carrots and green beans and tomatoes
For about 6 servings
This very elegant salad is best made using a mandolin to have uniform slices and to work rapidly. If you only make one yield of this recipe, you may use a regular potato peeler to cut the zucchini and carrots into ribbons. You will have uneven cuts and it may be a bit more laborious, but the final result will be almost the same and look a bit ‘artisan,’ which is trendy.
When in season, I add some shaved fennel, which curls nicely and provides an undertone of anise-like flavor. If you have access to a professional slicer, use it to make every even and thin strips that will add to the presentation of this salad.
To tenderize vegetables and impart their flavors from the dressing, it is best to toss them in the dressing and let them marinade for at least 30 minutes.
It is better to err on the side of mustard and vinegar for the dressing, which you can always correct after marinating by adding some additional olive oil.
To make this salad attractive, it is important to portion ingredients in each plate and lift up the ribbonned vegetable to create some height and volume and garnish them at the end with some fresh herbs and hard cheese shavings such pecorino, Asiago, Manchego and even Parmesan.
Zucchini: about 1 pound, cleaned, trimmed, cut into ribbons
Carrots: about 1 pound, cleaned, trimmed and cut into ribbons. Choose medium size carrots, large size tend to be tougher.
Green beans: ½ pound, trim hard ends but leave curly ends on, blanched for 3-5 minutes in boiling water, leaving crunchy. Rinse in cold water and shock them in ice-cold water.
Cherry tomatoes: 6 to 8 oz, halved.
Dijon, Mustard: 1 tablespoon
Sherry or red wine vinegar: 2 teaspoons
Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon
Olive oil: ½ cup to ¾ cup.
Salt & pepper: to taste
Garnishes: capers to taste
Hard cheese: shaved to taste.
Herbs: fresh basil, or thyme.
Make an emulsion mixing first mustard, lemon and vinegar and then slowly whisking olive oil.
Mix in vegetables and marinate.
Before service, add tomatoes and capers.
Plate distributing vegetables evenly and elegantly curling them up on each plate. Top with fresh herb and shave cheese on top.