Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Zucchine alla scapece

When life hands you zucchini (which it will around this time of year), make zucchine alla scapece. Since I first made this Neapolitan specialty last summer, it's become one of my very favorite vegetable dishes.

It's basically sliced, sauteed zucchini with fresh mint, garlic and vinegar. The word scapece is apparently derived from the Spanish escabeche, both denoting food prepared with vinegar. For the zucchini, cut into slices less than a quarter inch thick. Fry till browned on both sides in hot olive oil. Fry in batches, layering the cooked batches with vinegar (preferably wine vinegar), garlic bits and fresh mint. Let stand, refrigerated, at least four hours. Even better, leave it overnight. Eat cold with crusty bread. Warning: don't even think of cutting corners by using dried mint, or garlic salt or pre-peeled garlic, or inferior oil.

Below you see the amusing and talented Mimmo Corcione showing you how he eats zucchine alla scapece. I love Mimmo, he's a sort of anti-celebrity chef, a quintessential napoletano demonstrating his way with delicious food from his home kitchen in (surprise) the Veneto. You can even hear church bells. Note that Mimmo leaves the garlic cloves whole, and discards upon serving the scapece.