Serves 4 to 6
The method of “in scapece” is to fry vegetables (or proteins, especially fish and seafood) in oil, then add vinegar, herbs, and sometimes garlic. The warm, pan-fried food is then left to cool and marinate in a flavorful dressing. It’s not quite a pickle as it’s not as acidic, so it’s a versatile side dish or antipasti that goes with just about anything. Here, I lighten the dish and skip the frying- making this lighter, brighter, and easier than the original.
I like scallions here, but you could leave them out or choose another member of the onion family. Fresh mint is traditional, but you could trade it out for another soft herb of your choice. This can be made several days ahead and will keep well in the refrigerator, though it tastes best at room temperature. Use as a side or antipasti or add to a salad or sandwich.
- 4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
- 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Trim the ends from the zucchini. Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise to about 1/4-inch thickness (on a mandoline, if you have one). Put half of the zucchini in a glass or ceramic dish where they will fit snugly. Top with half of the scallions and half of the mint leaves. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, scallions, and mint.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about one quarter. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of peperoncino and pour over the sliced zucchini. Let cool to room temperature and let sit for at least 2 hours, longer if you have time.
When ready to serve, drain the zucchini. Place in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt, toss and serve.