Zucchini Marinate (Marinated Zucchini, Ascapece)
Buon Giorno! If you guessed Zucchini Marinate (Marinated Zucchini), you are correct. Traditionally called "Ascapece" and probably from the Spanish word "Escabesche," this cooking method, refers to a type of preserving of vegetables. Zucchini are fried in several tablespoons of olive oil, then placed in a dish with garlic, red wine vinegar and fresh Mint. Cooking the zucchini quickly and at high temperature, keeps the thin rounds intact. I like to to pan fry them on one side, turn them over, then finish them in the oven. They are also called Zucchini Trifolati in various Regions in Italy and they are always placed in the pan to cook on high heat. Parsley is used instead of Mint to garnish. I can remember my Neapolitan Nonna, Barbara, cooking these almost every weekend in Summer. I just couldn't get enough. It's a Perfect Summer side dish. This version, is traditionally form Southern Italy. Buon Appetito!
2 medium, fresh zucchini cut into thin rounds. One large, flat skillet (enough to accommodate your ingredients.
4 cloves or so of smashed garlic (leave them whole or cut them up into a small dice)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar ( I like to use Balsamic as I enjoy the sweet taste combination)
handful of fresh Mint
Extra Virgin olive oil to garnish
In a skillet, heat your olive oil to medium/ high. Be careful not to burn or smoke the olive oil or you will have to begin again. Add your zucchini and salt. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or so. Flip them in the skillet and continue to cook on the other side until evenly golden.
You can also, place them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes or so to finish cooking. Place them on paper towels to drain.
Place them into a bowl with the rest of your ingredients and toss gently, being careful not to break.
Cover and refrigerate. This dish is to be served at room temperature. If you are serving this the same day, it is not necessary to refrigerate. Add a fresh drizzle of olive oil, right before serving.
It's as easy as that.