Food & Drink Magazine

Italian Style Marinated Zucchini with Garlic & Mint

By Weavethousandflavors

Italian Style Marinated Zucchini-03

Some things need a dunk in really good olive oil.

The Italians knew just what they were doing when they decided to do just that with summer fresh succulent zucchinis.

This wonderful old recipe of Italian style which I have slightly adapted from dear Nika Hazelton is one where thick zucchini slices are pan fried in olive oil, layered in a dish with fresh sliced garlic and mint leaves and then the hot oil in the pan is doused with a good serving of red wine vinegar which is then drizzled all over the layered vegetable.

Set aside in the refrigerator overnight and you have the perfect offering at an elegant  picnic. Perhaps at a lovely vineyard with the grass between your toes, the whisper of the wind between the vines and the taste of a good wine on your lips.

Oh yes! I hear a picnic calling.

Don't you?

Italian Style Zucchini with Garlic & Mint-02

Gather the ingredients ~ 2 lbs fresh, glossy green & slender zucchinis, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 4 cloves peeled garlic,  1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, 1 tsp sea salt & 1/2 tsp black ground pepper.

 

Italian Style Marinated Zucchini-collage

 

  • Zucchinis - Cut and discard the woody top and end of the zucchini. Cut into 1-1/4" thick cross sections and then cut each into 1/4 inch thick lengths. Cook's Note - Do cut any thinner or the veggie will tend to dry out. 
  • Garlic - Slice into very thin slices and set aside
  • Mint - Separate the mint form the stalks. Discard the stalks and slice the mint leaves into slivers.
  • Pour the olive oil into a heavy bottomed, preferably cast iron pot. Heat till the oil is hot but not fuming. Lay 3 layers of kitchen paper towels on a plate and place near the stove. On medium heat, place the zucchini slices in a single layer in the pan. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side till the slices are golden brown. Flip over each slice with a fork and repeat on the other side. Remove the zucchini to the plate.
  • Fry the zucchini slices in batches always in a single layer.
  • To the hot pan, add the red wine vinegar and step back while it sizzles violently. Once the bubbles subside, add 1/2 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper.
  • In a high sided dish, layer 1/3 of the zucchini slices. Spread 1/3 of the garlic and mint all over the zucchini. Repeat with 2 more layers of zucchini, garlic and mint till all the vegetables have been used up.
  • Drizzle the red vinegar oil all over the vegetables.
  • Allow the vegetables to cool at room temperature. Then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Set outside for a couple of hours before serving. Best served at room temperature.

Italian Style Marinated Zucchini-01

So much greater than the sum of its parts. You'll be hard pressed to find a side more refreshing than this. The mint goes through everything making this dish a sensory delight in taste and scent.

Can't wait to make this for an elegant picnic!

 

Recipe for

Italian Style Marinated Zucchini with Garlic & Mint

Preparation time - 15 minutes

Cooking time - 30-40 minutes

 Chilling time - 4-6 hours - Preferably Overnight

Makes 4-6 servings

Shopping list

 2 lbs fresh, glossy green & slender zucchinis

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

4 cloves peeled garlic

1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves + a few more for garnish

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black ground pepper.

Method:

  1. Zucchinis - Cut and discard the woody top and end of the zucchini. Cut into 1-1/4" thick cross sections and then cut each into 1/4 inch thick lengths. Cook's Note - Do cut any thinner or the veggie will tend to dry out. 
  2. Garlic - Slice into very thin slices and set aside
  3. Mint - Separate the mint form the stalks. Discard the stalks and slice the mint leaves into slivers.
  4. Pour the olive oil into a heavy bottomed, preferably cast iron pot. Heat till the oil is hot but not fuming. Lay 3 layers of kitchen paper towels on a plate and place near the stove. On medium heat, place the zucchini slices in a single layer in the pan. Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side till the slices are golden brown. Flip over each slice with a fork and repeat on the other side. Remove the zucchini to the plate. Fry the zucchini slices in batches always in a single layer.
  5. To the hot pan, add the red wine vinegar and step back while it sizzles violently. Once the bubbles subside, add 1/2 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper.
  6. In a high sided dish, layer 1/3 of the zucchini slices. Spread 1/3 of the garlic and mint all over the zucchini. Repeat with 2 more layers of zucchini, garlic and mint till all the vegetables have been used up.
  7. Drizzle the red vinegar oil all over the vegetables.
  8. Allow the vegetables to cool at room temperature. Then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Set outside for a couple of hours before serving. Best served at room temperature.

Enjoy!

 


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