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Healthy & Delicious: Zucchini Carpaccio with Feta and Pine Nuts

Editor's note: On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share healthy and delicious recipes with us. Take it away, Kristen!

[Photograph: Kristen Swensson]

I've never been much of a traditional salad girl, preferring just about anything to a pile of uncooked greens haphazardly dotted with chopped veggies. I know I need the produce, though. So, when a good alternative presents its raw, delicious self, I'm all over it.

Zucchini Carpaccio with Feta and Pine Nuts appeared in a recent Chow roundup of crudo, ceviche, and tartare recipes. While it's not a conventional carpaccio (which involves raw meat), it does involve a similar preparation. Fresh, light, and gorgeous, it's also excellent for using up zucchini and summer squash. And god knows we're about to be bombarded by those guys.

The one drawback: the dish doesn't, as Chow noted, take only five minutes to assemble. The arrangement alone runs about seven or eight, and depending on your slicing/mandolining skills, the whole assembly process could take three times as long. You'll still be out of the kitchen in under a half-hour, but be warned: it's a tad more time-consuming than a regular salad.

Beyond that, though it's not necessary, you can toast the pine nuts for a slightly nuttier flavor. And while the salad is fine at room temperature, it could benefit from a few minutes of chilling in the fridge. Oregano or parsley could substitute well for mint, as well.

Someday, my nutritional requirements may supersede my antipathy towards everyday green salads. Until then, dishes like this one fill in just fine.

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