antipasto / small bites recipes

fried zucchini agrodolce + mint

June 12, 2016

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shit guys. 4 days until i leave. it doesn’t feel real still, even though i’m throwing “leaving for italy this week” around in conversations like an asshole. i just can’t help it! my apologies to anyone who interacts with me between now and 3pm thursday but i’ve never been so excited for anything in my life. i’m sitting at work daydreaming about every aspect of what will happen starting from when i pick my nona up at porter to head to pearson: checking her in for her flight to rome, then mr. copper and i checking in and having celebratory drinks in the airport lounge before boarding. i’m thinking about eating fish and chips and going dancing in london and then all of the daydreams of italy kind of blur together but mostly contain mr. copper and i, sitting at on a patio overlooking the coast, drinking wine, holding hands and eating fritto misto. i could literally go on in so much detail but i won’t. what i will do is share with you this delicious recipe for zucchini agrodolce, so you can pretend you’re on the coast too.

i read about agrodolce back in the winter on this post from bon appetit, and have wanted to make it since. then a couple of months later i was at soho house and they served it with fried cauliflower which was so delicious, and then i found a recipe for it in my favourite cookbook of all time, prune! the universe was telling me something. so basically last weekend i stopped procrastinating, finally made it and kicked myself for waiting so long. agrodolce is an italian condiment made up of simple ingredients but packs so much flavour. vinegar, sugar and chilies are simmered together to create this sweet, sour spicy sauce i kind of want to put on everything and also eat with a spoon.

i couldn’t stop eating this – crispy, oily ribbons of zucchini drizzled with this super flavourful sauce, dotted with fresh mint and washed down with a glass of rose – it is the perfect summer patio food. all i needed was the smell of salt water and i could have closed my eyes and pretended like i was already in italy!

fried zucchini agrodolce + mint
*adapted from prune by gabrielle hamilton
*serves 4 as appetizer

3-4 zucchini, washed and ends trimmed
2 cups flour
6 cups olive oil for frying

1 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 teaspoon dried chilies
1 clove garlic, sliced

zucchini: using a spiralizer with the ribbon attachment, cut zucchini into long ribbons. lay out on a wire rack placed on top of a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. place in the oven with only the oven light on and let dry out for about 2 hours. once some of the water has been removed, the zucchini should feel papery, heat the olive oil until boiling, then turn down to medium. toss zucchini ribbons in flour to coat, shaking off as much excess as you can, and lower them into the hot oil. fry for about 2 minutes, dunking into the oil as necessary, until golden brown. remove with a slotted spoon and let dry out on a few sheets of paper towel or in a coffee filter. repeat process until all zucchini is used up.

agrodolce: bring vinegar, sugar and apricots to a boil in a small saucepan. turn heat to medium low and simmer, crushing the apricots and stirring frequently, until it has reduced to a syrup. remove from heat and add in the garlic and chilies and stir well, letting the garlic steep and  become fragrant.

assembly: pile zucchini in a bowl and dot with fresh mint leaves. drizzle agrodolce overtop. let rest a few minutes before serving to let the sauce seep into the zucchini. enjoy with a refreshing glass bottle of wine!

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