Cucumber and Zucchini Carpaccio Salad – Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love

We love our job. Of course there are always challenges that come with each project we photograph or film, but at the end of the day we are always thankful for the wonderful people that we work with and Cristina Ferrare is one of those wonderous souls that help us love our job to no end.

Last year she selected us to photograph her new cookbook, Big Bowl of Love, which is also the title of her cooking show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

To work with her on photographing her recipes and lifestyle shots for the Big Bowl of Love was such a huge honor, we’re still over the moon about the whole project. We wrote about the behind the scenes of her cookbook shoot a while back.

Cristina is a true cook and a shining example of someone who feeds from the heart. Every single one of her recipes in the cookbook was cooked with her own two hands and she make sure each dish was made with the utmost care.

She didn’t treat the project like a cookbook shoot. There was no fake food or prissying up the dish for the camera. Instead, each recipe in the book was prepared as if she was feeding her loved ones. She selected the freshest and best ingredients she could gather from the markets and prepared them in her own kitchen. We were just the very fortunate photographers to be there to capture it.

We also ate EVERY SINGLE DISH and gained 10 happy pounds each. Every bite was bliss on the job.

The best part about this project is that her book embodies everything that represents love, family, feeding, feasting and more love in big bowls. We were surrounded by her amazing family (Tony, Alex, and Arianna), all of whom love, support and respect one another deeply. This project was like working with family, they treated us like family and that meant the world to us.

Cristina’s love of food and family spills from every page of her book and we’re so happy to be sharing one of her recipes with you here today.

Cristina having fun with her daughters Ari & Alex

Cristina cooked for her big party & feast

fresh ingredients and flavorful recipes

Alex and Ari helping out in the kitchen and set up

A party at Cristina’s would not be complete w/out fresh flowers!

Cucumber and Zucchini Carpaccio Salad Recipe

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Total Time: 10 minutes

A perfect elegant summer salad from Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love cookbook.


  • 1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 T fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh Mint
  • 2 t finely chopped fresh Dill
  • 1 T finely chopped Italian Parsley
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced paper thin
  • 2 Cucumbers, sliced paper thin
  • 1/2 t Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1/2 c crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 c finely chopped, roasted Walnuts
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper


  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, mint, dill, and Italian parsley in a medium bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  2. Arrange sliced zucchini and cucumbers on a large platter, alternating zucchini slices with the cucumber slices.
  3. Sprinkle slices lightly with kosher salt. Drizzle 3 T of dressing over the slices. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, walnuts, and fresh cracked black pepper.
  4. Serve immediately. (If you are not going to serve right away, do not dress slices with vinaigrette yet.  Wait until you are about to set then add dressing at last moment.)
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. keshav1996

    That really looks great. i wanna try this asap.

  2. Lester @ Paleo Dishes

    I love cucumber dishes, I only know 2 easy recipes for it. Thanks for this one, I will definitely try this. And one more thing, I like the photos, they are really amazing!

  3. Pepper Bowl

    first time landed here, loved your blog and you adorable photographs…


    I can see why she chose you for her food photos!!! Amazingly beautiful pics!!! Great job!

  5. Sherlly

    Hi there! I made this for Mother’s Day and it was a hit! Super delicious and easy to prepare!

  6. VeggieGirl

    Gorgeous shots!

  7. Nan

    What a great recipe – simple and elegant…and stunning pics! I didn’t know Christina had a cookbook or a show (yes, I live in a cave!) so I’m off to order myself a copy of YOUR book! xo, Nan

  8. Sarah

    What a gorgeous recipe! I love cucumbers. I’m going to be sharing on my Glamour magazine blog tomorrow. I hope it’s OK to link to your site and use a photo (the one that was on FoodGawker). I’ll give attribution and send lots of traffic back your way. Many thanks!

  9. Nancy@acommunaltable

    It seems redundant to say that the photos are stunning since ALL your photos are but I simply don’t have any other words that even come close! It sounds like this was a fabulous book to shoot !!! I make a similar salad, but I am definitely going to try this one – love the variations and the use of both cucumbers and zucchini!

  10. Helene

    I just bought it. I’m so impressed that you did the photographs. Can’t wait to receive it. Congratulations! I have to say that on some site they don’t publish recipes because they want people to buy the cookbooks. I am the opposite, since you are talking about this cookbook and you kindly publish one of the recipes I will buy it. I bought so much cookbooks that way when bloggers talk about it on the blog, cook the recipe and publish the recipe. Thanks so much for doing so. I’ll let you know when I get it 🙂

  11. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather

    Amazing colors and beautiful recipe! I can only imagine how much fun your job is 🙂

  12. TripleScoop

    Wow you made some beautiful shots and captured the food spectacularly.

  13. Mindy

    Stunning photos, and the cookbook sounds lovely.

  14. susan

    Diane + Todd – you’ve done it again! This is gorgeous and something that is going to grace my mother’s day brunch table! Looks like fun. And can her girls be any more gorgeous?

  15. Donna A.

    Low calorie veggies never looked so good! A haute d’jour in gastronomy.

  16. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    That salad is absolutely gorgeous!

  17. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Gosh… that first picture is amazing. So beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Chris & Skip in Avl

    Such a simple recipe and the artful presentation fully honors the veggies. (Amazing photos too, can all but smell the cucumbers) I’m going to do this presentation this week. We’re heading down to the coast near Murrell’s Inlet, SC today and there are supposed to be cukes and zukes already coming into the farmer’s markets there. Will be a great to have a sneak (local) taste of what are early summer veggies up here in the Blue Ridge.

  19. Yvette

    Gorgeous photo, gorgeous ladies, gorgeous recipes! WOW!!!

  20. The Cilantropist

    I just won this cookbook in a giveaway and I decided to give it to my mom for mother’s day! I know she will love the theme of feeding family and spreading love, and the recipes look amazing. I can’t get over how beautiful this cucumber salad looks – the overhead shots capture it perfectly!

  21. Sally

    Nice pix you guys! A beautiful job.

  22. Michelle

    What lovely ladies. Hello Spring salad! I love meeting people through your lens’

  23. DessertForTwo

    Wow! Beautiful food, beautiful photos, beautiful women 🙂

    Looks yummy!

  24. Sense of Home

    So fresh and colorful. The combination of an excellent recipe and talented photography shines through and make you want to eat the salad.


  25. Tokyo Terrace

    This looks delicious! Perfect for when the weather finally warms up and light, refreshing dishes are on the menu. Beautiful!

  26. Blog is the New Black

    WHat gorgeous pics!

  27. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum

    I’m inspired! By her food, by your pictures, by the whole thing. Enough said!

  28. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    Wow, the recipe is wonderful looking and those cukes are so paper thin…I think my mandolin needs to get dusted off!

    Christina and her daughters are simply gorgeous, too! 🙂

  29. Brenna [fabuleuxdestin]

    A fresh spring salad! Just what I need!

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