In southern Italy, zucchini, eggplant, and even small fish are fried to seal in flavor and then pickled in a vinegar solution. The result is light and refreshing.

[Credit: ©]
Credit: ©

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 to 25 minutes (plus 1 hour for marinating)

Yield: 6 servings

4 cups peanut oil

6 small zucchinis, cut into strips roughly 1⁄8-inch thick and 4 inches long

1 cup red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

3 sprigs fresh mint

  1. Heat the peanut oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until the oil is hot (about 350 degrees).

    Add the zucchini in 5 or 6 batches, cooking until the strips are golden — about 3 to 4 minutes for each batch. Sandwich the zucchini slices between paper towels to drain very well and then transfer to a roasting dish or a serving platter with sides.

  2. In a small pan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper, and garlic. Bring nearly to a boil and add the mint.

  3. Drizzle the vinegar solution over the zucchini. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Serve at room temperature.