French Riviera-inspired restaurant Fig and Olive has seven locations across the country, most of them located in trendy neighborhoods you’ve heard of (think New York City’s Meatpacking and Los Angeles’ Melrose Place).
And what gets the glitterati in the door is Fig and Olive’s fresh, simple dishes that usually showcase a single ingredient—each of which is prepared with the perfect olive oil (from a selection of about 30 different kinds).
Take, for example, the Zucchini Carpaccio, one of executive chef Pascal Lorange’s signature creations.
“If we buy fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market, we’re not going to mask that amazing flavor profile,” Lorange says. “It’s the same thing with the Zucchini Carpaccio. It’s so simple, with very few ingredients that all work together.”
Lorange came up with the idea for the vegetarian take on carpaccio when he first accepted the position at Fig and Olive nine years ago, and was perusing the produce markets in Southern France. “I bought some zucchini and played with the ingredients,” he says. “We brought it to the menu because it’s that exact simplicity we wanted.”
He recommends sharing it, and it can be easily transported, so consider packing it for a late-summer picnic. The only other thing you might need, besides the recipe below? “Sauvignon Blanc—the dryness pairs perfectly with the parmesan cheese,” Lorange advises. —Jamie McKillop
Fig and Olive’s Zucchini Carpaccio
Serves 6 to 8
1 lb zucchini, sliced paper thin
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arrange the zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, on a large, flat platter. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice.
Just before serving, whisk the olive oil dressing briefly to blend it, drizzle it over the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, scatter the cheese and the pine nuts on top, and serve. (Note: Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to thinly slice the zucchini.)
For more information, visit www.figandolive.com