Marinated Zucchini (Zucchine alla Scapece)
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.
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
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.
In a small pan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper, and garlic. Bring nearly to a boil and add the mint.
Drizzle the vinegar solution over the zucchini. Marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
Serve at room temperature.