For the most part, I tend to be an orderly person. Sometimes, a probably little too orderly.
Maybe it’s because my mom used to follow immediately behind me in the kitchen while I was cooking, cleaning up every inch of space that wasn’t spotless along the way. Or, it could be the fact that too much clutter tends to create “visual stress”, as I like to call it (mostly so my husband responds with sympathy, not irritation).
Either way, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a very famous food photographer’s live online conference this past weekend. Most well-known for her jaw-dropping work in Saveur magazine, Penny De Los Santos is a (gracious and inspiring) force to be reckoned with.
Based upon my mild case of OCD, a lot of what I took away from her course is that it’s actually a good thing to have disorder when it comes to food photography. To embrace the crusty, gritty elements of food because that’s where the authenticity, the story and the beauty comes from.
With that, this is my zucchini and cucumber carpaccio created with “reckless abandon”. It’s pretty clear that I still have a long road ahead, but the most important part is that I’ve finally given myself permission to just let go.
- 3-4 zucchini (different varieties create a nice visual interest)
- 1 medium cucumber
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons shelled, unsalted pistachios, crushed
- 1/4 cup shaved Manchego cheese (Pecorino is a good substitution)
- chive blossoms or fresh chives, finely diced, for garnish
Thinly slice the zucchini and cucumber using a mandoline or by hand. Set aside.
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper for the vinaigrette.
Arrange the zucchini and cucumber slices however you like on a platter or wood board. Scatter the crushed pistachios and drizzle some vinaigrette over top.
Add the cheese, chive blossoms + enjoy!