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A blue serving board with a blue Summer Blues floral salad plate and a Grace white charger plate with zucchini carpaccio.

Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado and Lemon Salt

Written by: Shawn Laughlin


Just when your garden is overflowing with zucchini this impossibly perfect recipe arrives to save the day.

I love to entertain- dinner parties, in particular, but really any excuse will do. Back in the day, I used to jump on the chance to dazzle my guests with ever-more-inventive recipes for delicious dishes I'd never made before. When you decide to cook something for the first time (and "dazzle" is your KPI), you're setting yourself up for failure. Why it took me so many years to 1)realize this and 2)stop doing this, I will never fully understand.

This is a recipe that I discovered in those heady days when the idea of culinary feats of daring still held appeal- but hold on! This is easy, easy, easy and so delicious you'll be hard-pressed to ever make zucchini any other way again. It may be the one recipe from those aspirational years that I've held onto dearly.

It's a fact of life in New England where I've lived for many years that summer is about zucchini. There's zucchini in every garden, every farmstand, every supermarket, every field. It's a plethora of riches, and there's only so much ratatouille one can eat. Enter this zucchini carpaccio recipe, and you will rediscover your love and enthusiasm for this humble summer squash.

Did I mention simple? Get out that mandoline if you have one, or your sharpest knife if you don't. The key to this dish is really the texture of these lovely ribbons of zucchini which soften to melting, lemony goodness after a bit of time, so take the time to make these as thin as possible.

I like to vary this dish up a bit because I do make it so many times each summer. Try replacing the pistachios with toasted pine nuts- addictive! Sometimes I skip the avocado, opting for the crunchy peppery flavor of thinly sliced radishes, or simply letting the zucchini shine on its own.

It's a stellar picnic lunch addition, maybe tossed with some small cooked pasta or mixed with a bit of quinoa for a light bite that's filling enough for a meal.

The thyme gives a lovely depth of subtle flavor, and of course they're in season together, but maybe a bit of shredded basil would be a good addition? Use your imagination and take whatever flavors the garden offers up to make this zucchini dish your go-to all summer long.

You'll never think about zucchini the same way again.

Zucchini Carpaccio

with avocado, thyme, pistachios and lemon salt


juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 cup almond oil

4 small zucchini, ends trimmed

1 large ripe avocado, sliced thin

1/4 cup salted and roasted pistachio nuts

1 tbsp. thyme leaves (about 4 sprigs)

lemon salt* to taste


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt and almond oil. Set aside.
  2. Using a mandolin on the thinest setting, slice the zucchini lengthwise. In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini slices with the lemon and oil mixture and let marinate (stirring occasionally) for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
  3. Once the zucchini has had time to marinate, arrange the slices on a platter (I used our Grace Oversized Dinner Plate), alternating with the avocado slices so that they can easily be served together. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and thyme leaves and season with your lemon salt.

*Lemon Salt: Using a mortar and pestle (or a bowl with the back of a wooden spoon), combine 1/2 cup high-quality sea salt (I love Maldon Flake Salt) with the zest of one large lemon. Use the pestle or spoon to massage the citrus zest into the salt. Use leftover salt to season eggs, breadcrumbs, even ice cream!

A wood bowl with zucchini, avocado, lemon, thyme and pistachios.

The bright lemon flavor makes this zucchini come alive, the salty nuts and a healthy dose of freshly ground black pepper make it an instant summer classic.

A white, scallop edged Grace Charger Plate with thinly sliced zucchini carpaccio on it.

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Caskata founder Shawn Laughlin

Shawn Laughlin

I'm a foodie turned entreprenuer. In love with delicious food and the moments spent gathered around a big, beautiful table. When I'm not behind my desk at Caskata you can find me in the kitchen, or in my garden behind our newly-renovated mid-century ranch house.

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