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Marinated Fried Zucchini Recipe

Marinated Fried Zucchini Recipe

Marinated Fried Zucchini Recipe

(zucchine a scapece)

Preparation time : 30 minutes + 12 hours to marinate

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • zucchini, cut into small strips 1 lb (500 g) about 21/2 medium
  • white wine vinegar 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (100 ml)
  • water 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (100 ml)
  • mint, roughly chopped 1 bunch
  • garlic 1 clove thinly sliced
  • peppercorns 10
  • extra-virgin olive oil for frying
  • salt to taste

Method :

  1. Wash the zucchini and cut them into small strips. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and fry the zucchini (a few at a time) until they’re golden brown. Remove them with a perforated spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Season them with salt and arrange them in a bowl, adding the roughly chopped mint.
  2. Boil the water with the vinegar, pepper and thinly sliced garlic for 5 to 6 minutes. You can alter the water-to-vinegar ratio depending on how much acidity you prefer. Pour the hot marinade over the zucchini. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator. Serve the next day, cold or at room temperature.

The strange case of scapece

Scapece (food that’s been fried and marinated) is a cooking method geared toward the preservation and eventual transport of certain products. Apicio was a Roman cook from the Imperial Age, and in De re coquinaria (I, 9) he had already suggested frying fish in oil, draining them and immediately pouring a large amount of vinegar over them. This procedure is still associated with the name of the inventor, and the term scapece may come from a contraction of the Latin phrase esca Apicii, meaning “food of Apicio.” But it’s more likely a word of Arabic origin which came to Italy via the Spanish escabeche. In the 13th century, scapece appeared on the royal table. It seems that Federico II of Svevia was very fond of fish cooked this way and the royal chef, Bernardo, was an expert at it. Cookbooks from the 14th century place scapece back among the masses, specifically in taverns, where it was called schibezia a tavernaio (a bit like saying “tavern-style scapece”).