An attractive and delicious plate full of goodness!
While I absolutely adore thinly sliced beef or salmon carpaccio – the appetizer so popular in many Italian restaurants and homes – I have long wondered what an all-vegetable version would taste like. The good news: it’s absolutely delicious. The great news: it’s super simple to make and looks absolutely gorgeous. You can use whatever root vegetables you like; I went for Chioggia beets (also known as candy stripe or candy cane) because they are so pretty, but regular or even golden varieties would work equally well. Grab a bunch of sweet heirloom carrots and use whichever hues you prefer to make your platter a riot of colour. I realize, of course, that zucchini is not a root vegetable, but the colour and texture were a nice addition in the dish. This vegetable carpaccio will thrill any vegans or vegetarians at your table, and the meat-eaters will welcome it as a really tasty side dish. Individually plated, it makes a truly impressive appetizer for all to enjoy.
- 2 medium beets
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 green zucchini
- 2 medium white turnip
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh basil or fresh thyme leaves
- freshly ground black pepper and additional salt (to taste)
- Thoroughly wash all vegetables. Peel the beets, carrots and turnips unless they are freshly-picked and the skins are tender, in which case there is no need to peel them.
- Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the vegetables as thinly as possible. Lay the slices out on a very large platter (or divide among individual serving plates), slightly overlapping the slices. At this point the platter or plates can be covered with plastic wrap and left to sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours.
- To make vinaigrette, in a small jar with a tight lid, combine lemon juice, Dijon and salt. Cover and shake well, then add olive oil; cover and shake again to blend thoroughly. The dressing can be made up to 6 hours ahead.
- When ready to serve, shake the vinaigrette to re-blend, then drizzle over the sliced vegetables. Sprinkle herbs and pepper on top, plus additional salt if you like, and serve within the hour.