minty fresh…

Continuing with the pesto post, here’s a variation I like to make.

Instead of using basil and pine nuts, I substitute mint and walnuts. The resulting pesto has a cool, fresh mint flavor that works exceptionally well in taming the harshness of the garlic.

Just like with the basil pesto, the sauce is the star and should be treated as such. I like to pair the pesto with something neutral-tasting to highlight the mixture. For me, cucumbers does the job perfectly.

Traditionally, carpaccio is an appetizer of very thinly sliced (or pounded thin) raw beef or tuna. Yes, raw. A creamy mustard sauce is drizzled all over.

Though I love beef carpaccio and love the tuna version even more, sometimes I like to go vegetarian. My cucumber carpaccio is easy to make and serve for an impromptu dinner. Not only is it good, it’s good for you!

I start with paper-thin slices of cucumber and arrange them in a spiral on a nice, big plate. Put a dollop of the mint pesto on top of each and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

That’s it! It look’s like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day. To impress your guests even more, tell them you’re serving carpaccio di cetriolo.

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