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PHOTOS: Meatless Monday at Fig And Olive + A Zucchini Carpaccio Recipe

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Just because you're keeping it meat-free doesn't mean you have to stick to casual comfort food joints and Indian food. There are plenty of L.A. restaurants that are stepping up their game these days, including the new Crossroads Kitchen by Tal Ronnen, which is solely dedicated to high end vegan cuisine. Fig & Olive has several veg-friendly dishes on their menu too, meaning that on Meatless Mondays you can swing by their stunning dining room and have a sophisticated meal and a cocktail without breaking tradition.

The swanky Mediterranean restaurant on Melrose Place has a wide variety of plates that you can enjoy on Meatless Monday, or any night of the week for that matter. Some of the highlights include a truffle risotto that has so much umami that it'll make you forget all about animal protein; a summer-friendly Andalucian cold tomato gazpacho; and thinly shaved zucchini topped with some of F&O's signature olive oils, pinenuts, and parm.

Click through the gallery above to check out those dishes, or you can make our favorite, the zucchini carpaccio, at home. And you can make it ahead of time in case you're entertaining guests. Here's how it's done:

Zucchini Carpaccio
*Serves 6-8

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Ingredients:

1 lb zucchini, sliced paper thin using a mandolin or veg peeler
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Method:

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.