Zucchini are abundant during the summer, so I am always looking for different ways to prepare them. Pan-fried, with mint, vinegar and garlic is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable. The way in which these flavors mingle together produces a delicious and surprisingly light dish. When you drain the fried zucchini on the paper towels, you will see that it doesn’t really hold onto the oil. Just a hint of the oil lingers. Then when you add the vinegar and mint, it balances the taste to perfection. I’m sure there is a culinary explanation for all this, but for me, it’s just about the taste. And I just love the taste of this preparation for zucchini. You will see from the pictures that I love mint and use more than is called for in the recipe. I would suggest that you adhere to the recipe the first time, and then certainly adjust the mint to your own liking. The best part about this recipe is that it’s great served warm, room temperature or even cold.
4 to 5 large zucchini, cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rounds
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
3 TBSP red wine or white vinegar
10-12 fresh mint leaves ( about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil for frying
a few pinches of sea salt
1. Place the cut zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. I usually skip this step in most recipes, but zucchini is very delicate, and this helps it stand up to the frying process better.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. The larger the skillet the better as you are going to fry the zucchini in batches, in a single layer.
3. Arrange as many zucchini rounds as you can fit, in a single layer into the heated oil.
4. Scatter the garlic over the zucchini.
5. Cook for about two minutes, until the undersides of the zucchini are a deep golden brown.
6. Turn the zucchini gently and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until deep golden brown.
7. Remove the zucchini from the oil, and drain on paper towels.
8. Continue this process until all the zucchini is fried, adding more oil if needed.
9. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with the vinegar and fresh mint.