Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Simply Summer: Zucchini alla Scapece



Italian lesson of the day:

Scapece translates to any vegetable marinated in vinegar and mint. That's all I could find out about the word, usually I know much more about the title of the dish.

This is a popular dish in Naples during the summer when zucchini is falling off the vine.

The hardest part about this recipe is the frying. Zucchini seems to take forever to brown, it's like waiting for a pot of water to boil.

Zucchini alla Scapece:

4 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
3 garlic cloves, sliced
kosher salt & pepper
olive oil for frying
red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of mint leaves

Slice the zucchini into rounds and season liberally w/ kosher salt & pepper.
(By the way, many people ask what brand of kosher salt I use, and the answer is DIAMOND. It's the real deal, used to be used to kosher chickens back in the day. Don't bother w/ Morton's kosher salt, it's too salty).

In the largest, heaviest skillet you have, heat the olive oil and fry the zucchini in batches, so you don't crowd the vegetable, otherwise it will steam instead of brown.

Add the garlic to the skillet after a few minutes, so it doesn't burn. Try not to disturb the zucchini slices while they are cooking. It should take about 4 minutes on each side.

Remove the zucchini slices to a bowl and fry up the next batch.

While the zucchini is still warm, splash a little red wine vinegar (about 4 tablespoons) over the vegetables and toss w/ fresh mint leaves.

You can refrigerate this overnight and serve cold, like a marinated pickled salad, or serve it straight up, warm or at room temperature.

I love the simplicity of this dish, there's nothing to it, and everything came from the garden.



It's funny how something this simple can taste so good.

Enjoy.

11 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Stacey - Here's an interesting post on the possible origin of the word "scapece" - http://www.giardinidisole.com/blog/?p=240

Nikki said...

My Southern Italian Grandmother made this all the time in the summer, we just called it "Scapetch"! I had no idea how it was spelled or why we called we called it that, now I know. I love it and haven't had it in years. Thanks!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Looks good Stacey.

I have plenty of zucchini to try that with.

kat said...

I bet that is fabulous cold!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Stacey, this looks so delish! A funny story - back in the 70's zucchini was not a common vegetable in the States. I had never heard of it but when I traveled as a teenager in Italy was served something very similar to this dish and I loved it. When I returned home I tried to tell my mom over and over about how they sauteed cucumbers and how delicious they were............. she just couldn't imagine that - I wonder why :) Years later zucchini began to become popular here and I figured out what I had been eating............
Thanks for this delicious recipe!

Joanne said...

Balsamic and mint...could a combination be any more delicious?

Proud Italian Cook said...

Frying zucchini does take time but it's oh so worth it! So good! I'd even toss it with pasta the next day for another meal.

Patsyk said...

Can't go wrong with frying up zucchini, then tossing it with the vinegar and mint... yum!

Paola said...

I adore zucchini! This looks so simple and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Looks lovely. Have you tried grilling or roasting the zuccini for this recipe?
Thanks,
Dennee/LA

Anonymous said...

This was great--just had it for dinner & poured some of the extra "juices" over my grilled tuna which was a little dried out. yum. thanks