Caponata (Eggplant salad)
- 1 h 20 min
- Kcal 100
We’ve all sampled them at least once in Naples, but zucchini with mint and vinegar (zucchini alla scapece) are, in fact, one of the tastiest side dishes you’ll find anywhere! The name “a scapece” probably dates back to the days of Spanish domination and the term “escabechar”, meaning “to souse”, since the fried zucchini are dipped in an emulsion of oil, wine vinegar, parsley, and garlic while still hot. The scapece dressing is very similar to carpione, a Piedmontese marinade, both originally created to preserve food (especially fish and meat, and later also vegetables) and having since become traditional and authentic recipes. Zucchini with mint and vinegar are great served as an appetizer with toasted bread, or as a side dish, especially with fish dishes such as our swordfish rolls.
To make your zucchini with mint and vinegar (alla scapece), start by topping, tailing, and washing the zucchini. Next, cut them into rounds approximately ? inch (3 mm) thick 1, transfer to a colander, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp (20 g) of fine salt 2. Stir and cover with a dish towel 3, leaving the liquid to drain from the vegetables for at least 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, rinse the zucchini under running water 4, then leave them to dry thoroughly on a dish towel 5. Next, prepare the zucchini dressing: Pour the oil into a bowl, add the white wine vinegar 6,
add salt 7, emulsify it all together, then add the previously washed and chopped mint 8, the peeled and chopped garlic cloves, pepper to taste 9, and mix everything together.
Heat some oil for frying and fry a few zucchinis at a time 10, for around 5 minutes, until golden brown 11. In the meantime, prepare a wide, shallow casserole dish in which you’ll spread the first layer of dressing 12.
As you drain the zucchini, pour them hot into the casserole dish 13, and layer them with alternating layers of the dressing (14-15). Serve your zucchini alla scapece once they’ve cooled completely (at least a couple of hours) or even while still slightly warm.
You can store your zucchini with mint and vinegar covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 1 day. Not suitable for freezing.
The acidity of the dressing depends on personal taste and the type of vinegar used: If you prefer a less acidic flavor, dilute the vinegar you use with water to achieve the desired level of acidity. You can also prepare eggplants in the same way, blanching them in water instead of frying them, and cutting them into slices or strips.