Sunday, September 07, 2008

Zucchini "Carpaccio" (Page 591)


  • Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Paul K, Beth, Lauren K, Mike M, and Teresa
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I'm not sure why I hadn't made this recipe yet. It is extremely simple, with easy-to-find ingredients, all of which I like. It's way at the end of the Vegetables section though, so perhaps I just don't usually get that far in my flipping before I pick something. I came across this recipe while planning the dinner party meal for last weekend, and I decided it was about time to give it a shot. This dish was extremely simple. I started by slicing zucchini into very thin pieces with a mandoline. These slices were then artfully arranged on a platter. They got topped with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, chopped arugula, and shaved parmesan. That's it -- very quick and very simple. It made for a rather nice dish. It wasn't obvious to me that thinly sliced raw zucchini would really be very appealing, but the other components of the dish enhanced its flavor nicely. I think the dish would have tasted better had all the ingredients been tossed together salad-style because it would have insured a more even distribution of the salt, oil, and vinegar. But then the artful arrangement would have been lost, and it was quite visually appealing as it was. I would probably leave it as is for company, and just throw everything together in a salad bowl if I was going to eat this at home by myself. Either way, the flavors in this dish really worked together. The pepperiness of the arugula was a nice contrast to the mellow zucchini, and some fine fleur de sel seasoned it nicely. The cheese was essential for providing some richness, and a bold contrasting flavor. This dish would likely work with any one of a variety of strong cheeses, but the parmesan was nice. Overall it was solid dish. I wasn't completely wowed by it, but I definitely enjoyed eating it.

The recipe in The Book has similar ingredients to this one, but is layered rather than mixed together, with the addition of balsamic vinegar.

My special gentleman's birthday was in April, and it was as a birthday present to him that I signed myself up for the half-marathon and him up for the real marathon that we are now training for. Now, to most people that might not seem like a nice gift, but my special gentleman is very athletic, and we have had a lot of fun in the past working towards various athletic goals together. So we were quite excited about this new venture of ours, and we have been encouraging each other through the ups and downs of training for more than 4 months now.

Today, though, I definitely had a "What was I thinking?!?" moment. And I think I wasn't the only one. My run today was 9 miles. My special gentleman's was 18. I ran 8 miles last weekend, no problem, so 9 didn't seem too daunting. And it was ok while I was running it. My feet hurt and I was experiencing some new, and extremely painful, chafing. But other than that I felt ok. It was after the run that the badness set in. I can't remember the last time I felt so bad as I did this evening. It was really bad. In retrospect, I hadn't eaten enough today to support a 9 mile run, and I didn't hydrate well enough while running. The extreme dizziness and nausea that ensued were definitely sufficient to keep me more aware of these things in the future.

Now I am feeling much better, sitting in bed in my jammers, with Neosporin slathered over various bleeding parts of my body, eating a huge piece of cake. And despite how bad I felt for more than 2 hours after my run, I am still proud of myself. Nine miles! That's the furthest I have ever run, and it gives me confidence that I will be ready to run 13 in a couple months!


Deniz said...

Oh man! I'm going to Sports Authority right now to buy you some Body Glide!

Liz C said...

Your reports of chafing scare me. I haven't yet run long enough to generate any of that, except for one bad experience with an old running bra that then ended up in the trash. I may have to buy some prophylactic Body Glide.

Teena said...

Deniz: Thanks again for the Body Glide! I am going to try it out this afternoon!

Liz: Yeah, chafing is no fun. I had a bad running bra experience myself. Very painful!