"This technique of frying an ingredient, then marinating it in vinegar has southern Spanish origins," says Rogers. "In Italy, this method is used mostly for zucchini, though we have eaten eggplant prepared in the same way. This is a wonderfully refreshing way to serve zucchini. There are many recipes. We've noticed that in the south of Italy the zucchini are sliced quite thickly and left to dry out in the sun before being fried and added to the marinade, which can be cooked or fresh. Mint is the herb nearly always used, and garlic - either raw or lightly fried - is essential to bring out the flavour of the zucchini."
- 500 gm zucchini, cut diagonally into 2.5cm-thick lengths
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2 garlic cloves, 1 cut into 4 slices; 1 finely chopped
- 1 dried red chilli, crushed
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced mint
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1Line an oven tray with paper towels. Place zucchini on tray and stand to drain (30 minutes; see note). Pat dry with paper towel.
- 2Place oil and garlic slices in a large frying pan over medium heat and gently fry until golden brown (1 minute). Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Increase heat to medium-high. Add zucchini in batches and fry until browned on both sides (2-3 minutes each side). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, then place on a serving plate. Scatter with finely chopped garlic, chilli and mint, season to taste, drizzle with vinegar and serve at room temperature. If serving the next day, cover the plate with plastic wrap and store in a cool place, but not the refrigerator.
Note The longer you leave the zucchini to dry, the better this dish will be.