Zucchine In Carpione
In the Middle Ages, people extended the shelf life of fried fish and vegetables by marinating them in vinegar and spices. This method of preservation appears to have appealed to many peoples’ tastebuds and lives on in a variety of modern-day dishes such as the Spanish escabeche, the Venetian sarde in saor and southern Italian zucchine alla scapece.
The Piedmontese interpretation of this medieval preparation, zucchine in carpione, is made with fried zucchinis, onions, sage leaves and a marinade of vinegar and white wine. Zesty and aromatic, this summer appetiser is best prepared at least a day before so the flavours have had to time to infuse. Leave it chill in the fridge for 24 hours and, the next day, you’ll be grateful that you won’t have to sweat over a stovetop on a scorching summer’s day! The hard work will have been done already.
The method for making zucchine in carpione (Zucchini Marinated in Vinegar and Wine) detailed below is less of a recipe and more of a technique. If you wish to preserve a bigger batch of these summer squashes, feel free to fry more than the amount indicated. You can also adjust the amounts of the marinating liquids to your taste. Prefer something tangier? Use more vinegar for your marinade. Looking for a sweeter flavour? Then add more white wine. Please note that the wine’s alcohol content can be removed by bringing it boil.
• Chop onion in half and slice into smiles.
• Finely slice zucchinis lengthways.
• Fill large and deep frying pan with olive oil until about two centimetres high. Put frying pan on low to medium heat.
• When oil is hot add garlic and let it simmer until nice and golden. Remove from pan.
• Add a handful of zucchinis to pan (try not to overcrowd pan), add a pinch of salt and cook until lightly golden. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels. (Repeat procedure until all the zucchini, onion and sage leaves have been fried).
• Place zucchini, onion and sage in a container. Pour vinegar and white wine until zucchinis, onions and sage are completely covered.
• Cover container with lid and leave to marinate in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
• Serve cold, as an antipasto or as an accompaniment to a meat, chicken or fish dish.