A frequent stop when I go home to New Jersey is to Fig & Olive in the city. My dad’s girlfriend is a serious food fanatic and this is her go-to. Needless to say, we get along. She loves this place and deems our visits a reason to celebrate, which is 100% okay with me. This place has very a fresh, simple menu and is yet to disappoint. I got mushroom soup there once and it was BANGIN’. Like, so good I was giving the waiter the skeptical eye (do it, click the link) when they responded that, “no, there’s no unicorn sparkle magic ingredient in there”. The ambiance of the meatpacking district location is so nice. It’s weirdly home-y for a NYC trendy restaurant, with fresh herbs growing throughout the place, a collection of olive oils from all around the world filling the walls (available for purchase, btw) and centrally located open bar where you can watch the bartenders using fresh ingredients for their cocktails. One item we always get from the menu, whether it’s brunch or dinner, is the zucchini carpaccio. So basic. So simple. So perfect. So DELICIOUS. It makes for a really good appetizer or side dish and is really easy, so definitely an option for a dinner party. No guilt with this either. MOW away and feel no shame if you finish the whole thing yourself.
Zucchini Carpaccio (for two)
-1 large zucchini, or two smaller ones, you judge
-3 tablespoons high quality olive oil
-grated parmesan or grana padano
-handful of toasted pine nuts
-salt and fresh ground pepper
Slice zucchini thin > Arrange on plate in a shingle like design, slightly overlapping > Combine olive oil and lemon juice > whisk to emulsify > sprinkle zucchini with salt and pepper > drizzle olive oil/lemon mixture over the top to lightly dress the zucchini > sprinkle with grated cheese and pine nuts > let sit for at least 10 min > add whatever you feel is missing/lacking > bon appetit!
This is a good recipe to trust your gut with. Don’t feel like you have to follow these amounts exactly. If you need more or less, just go with it and eyeball everything. I’ve seen some recipes out there which include fresh ricotta, additional chopped herbs, or goat cheese. YES, PLEASE. All of the above. Here’s one of them – YUM. You can also put it on a bed of arugula or other light green. I actually used pea shoots for mine, but they were a little too intense with the light flavors in this dish. Next time I would go with something that’s tamer.