asparagus and zucchini crudi

Spring is here! The sun is shining and the farmer's markets are opening up. As a private chef in Charleston, the farmers and purveyors are at the core of every culinary experience that I provide. Spend more time in the sun and less time in the kitchen with this asparagus and zucchini crudi. Olinda olive oil is my favorite olive oil in the world, and this dish really showcases it.

Yields 4 servings

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 zucchini, trimmed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, I use Olinda olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon caper brine

Zest of one lemon

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 ounce shaved parmesan, for garnish

Fresh basil, for garnish


Blanch the asparagus: Fill a large bowl with water and ice. In a large saucepan or stockpot, bring 1 inch of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Add asparagus, and boil until bright green and still crisp enough, about 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove the asparagus from the boiling water and plunge them into an ice bath to halt the cooking. When completely cool, drain well and pat dry. Cut each spear on a thin bias.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into long thin strips. Discard the core and save for future cooking adventures.

Using a whisk, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, caper brine, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Toss the slices together with the olive oil-lemon mixture. Garnish with shaved parmesan and fresh basil (I tear mine for a rustic look).

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