Carpaccio of courgette with pink peppercorns

Sometimes the simplest, most unassuming ingredients can make for a delicious little work of art. 

We really like the humble courgette (zucchini) for its versatility but also because it has a low calorie density and is rich in vitamin A and minerals such as manganese, potassium and magnesium.  Courgettes are easy to grow in your garden or even in a pot on your windowsill.  Freshly harvested they are sweet and tender.

Here we are having courgettes raw, prepared by slicing very thinly with a mandoline, a vegetable peeler or the old-fashioned way, by hand with a sharp knife.  We arranged our slices flat, in an even pattern of slightly overlapping rounds and simply dressed in Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil, sea salt flakes and the freshly squeezed juice of a lemon.  Then we sprinkled over slivers of parmigiano Reggiano cheese as well as crushed pink peppercorns.

It makes for a lovely starter plate to precede a more substantial main course and lends itself to being creative with beautiful plating so the eyes can feast themselves too.  We had it as a lunch plate with a slice of bakery bread and enjoyed it very much that way too.

Per person we used for a lunch plate:

1 medium courgette, thinly sliced 

1-2 tbsp Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt to taste

slivers of parmigiano Reggiano cheese

crushed pink peppercorns

You will need half the amount of ingredients if you are only preparing starter plates.

Arrange the thin slices of courgette on a plate.  At this stage, if you are preparing more plates for later, you can cover the arranged courgette slices with some cling film and keep in the fridge. 

In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice with the salt until the salt is dissolved.  Then add the Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil and whisk until well combined.

When ready to serve, drizzle over your courgette slices.  Sprinkle with shavings of parmesan and the crushed pink peppercorns.  If you want to add an extra you can also sprinkle with some lightly toasted pine nuts, but this is optional. 

Easy as that!