Here’s a delicious twist on the classic scampi, with a beautiful and easy presentation. For the best impact, select a white or other solid-color square or rectangular salad plate. Then, trim the ends of the zucchini so it fits perfectly within the plate’s borders. Slice the squash paper-thin with a mandoline or a vegetable peeler; then arrange the slices, overlapping slightly, to fill the plate. Or, if you prefer, arrange the slices in a basket-weave pattern. Either way, it’s a great look!
SERVES 4 AS AN APPETIZER OR A LIGHT LUNCH
2 medium zucchini
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1½ teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon plus 2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper
16 to 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
1 tablespoon dry white wine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, tarragon, or thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large egg yolk
⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
Trim the ends from the zucchini. Using a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into paper-thin slices. Arrange 6 to 9 slices on each plate, in rows or in a basket-weave pattern. Reserve the leftover zucchini pieces for another use.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, the sugar, and a pinch of pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the zucchini and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to soften and flavor the zucchini.
Heat the oven to 425°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the wine, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the ½ teaspoon pepper; toss, and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes, remaining 1 teaspoon zest, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, the egg yolk, panko, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining pinch of pepper. Set aside.
Remove the shrimp from the wine marinade. Nestle 4 to 5 shrimp together as if “spooning” and thread onto a bamboo skewer. Repeat with the remaining shrimp. Trim the skewers with scissors to fit on the serving plates.
Place the shrimp in a baking dish. Drizzle with the remaining marinade, and top with the butter mixture. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Place 1 shrimp skewer atop each zucchini carpaccio, and serve.