Watch Cooking Channel

Zucchine Sott’Olio

Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Hot Peppers, Garlic, and Mint Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Hot Peppers, Garlic, and Mint

I recently had the pleasure of lunching at the Oakland home of Rosetta Costantino. Rosetta’s been teaching how to cook the foods of her native Calabria for years, and her extensive knowledge of this much overlooked regional cuisine is now lovingly and gorgeously documented in a new book.

I, myself, have some Calabrian heritage. My mother’s family is a mini-melting pot from three regions of Southern Italy. Her mother’s mother’s family immigrated from Benevento, not far from Napoli, and her mother’s father’s family came from a small mountain town in poor, rural Abruzzo, the “calf” of the boot. Her father’s parents, however, both hailed from Reggio di Calabria, the very tippiest toe of the boot, pointing its way to Sicily. It is the Abruzzese branch that we are most closely aligned with, though, and so I remarked to Rosetta that I didn’t know much about about Calabrese food.

Or so I thought. With dish after dish, Rosetta presented flavors that were fresh and yet immediately familiar. In particular I was intrigued by some crostini topped with tangy, zingy zucchini with hot peppers and mint, preserved in oil. The preservation technique utterly changed the texture of the zukes, giving them almost a crunch and squeak as you snapped through the pieces. I was smitten, and I knew I couldn’t wait to make it myself.

Zucchine Sott’Olio

Zucchini Preserved in Oil with Hot Peppers, Garlic, and Mint
Excerpted with permission from My Calabria: Rustic Cooking from Italy’s Undiscovered South by Rosetta Costantino, W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. 2010

5 pounds (2¼ kilograms) large zucchini, preferably 2 to 3 pounds (900 grams to 1.4 kilograms) each
½ cup (70 grams) kosher salt
3 cups (750 milliliters) white wine vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
5 garlic cloves, sliced crosswise
3 or 4 small fresh hot red peppers, or to taste, sliced crosswise
½ cup (125 milliliters) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping

Cut the zucchini crosswise into 3-inch (8-centimeter) pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthwise, then cut out all the seeds and spongy pulp from the center. Slice each section crosswise 3?16 inch (4½ millimeters) thick. (A mandoline or other manual vegetable slicer is helpful for this.)

Make layers of sliced zucchini and salt in a large bowl, then toss well. Macerate for 12 hours to draw the water out of the zucchini. Drain the zucchini, then squeeze a handful at a time to remove excess water.

Place the zucchini in a heavy nonreactive pot and add the vinegar and 1 cup (250 milliliters) water. The liquid should barely cover the zucchini.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to redistribute the zucchini, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the zucchini slices are cooked through but still whole, about 5 minutes. Do not allow them to break apart. Smaller zucchini will take less time.

Drain the zucchini and put them in a large colander. Top them with a heavy weight, such as a pot filled with water, to squeeze out the liquid. Let the zucchini drain under the weight for 15 minutes.

Lay several clean kitchen towels on a table covered with cardboard. Arrange the zucchini slices on the towels, spreading the slices apart. Let dry at room temperature until they feel a little leathery and are no longer damp, 24 to 48 hours. They will shrivel considerably.

Place the zucchini in a bowl and toss with the mint, garlic, hot peppers, and the ½ cup (125 milliliters) olive oil. Taste for salt and let the mixture marinate at room temperature for a day.

Transfer the zucchini to a 1-pint (½-liter) glass jar. Pack them in tightly, pushing them down with a fork or spoon to remove any air gaps. Top with olive oil so they are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 weeks before sampling to give the zucchini time to absorb the seasonings.

Bring them out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve them to allow the oil to liquefy. Return any leftover zucchini to the refrigerator, topping with oil so the zucchini remain completely submerged. If kept submerged in olive oil and refrigerated, the zucchini will last for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 pint (½ liter)

Sean Timberlake is a professional writer, amateur foodie, avid traveler and all-around bon vivant. He is the founder of Punk Domestics, a content and community site for DIY food enthusiasts, and has penned the blog Hedonia since 2006. He lives in San Francisco with his husband, DPaul Brown, and their hyperactive terrier, Reese.

More from Sean and Punk Domestics:

Fig Jam with Fennel Pollen
Canning Tomatoes: Many (Dirty) Hands Make Light Work

Your favorite zucchini dish?

Tags:

Comments (4016)

  1. mac support posted 1 day, 5 hours ago

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  2. custom id card posted 1 day, 5 hours ago

    Looking around…

    While I was browsing yesterday I noticed a great post about…

  3. iphone repair leeds posted 1 day, 3 hours ago

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  4. doctor oz diet posted 1 day, 3 hours ago

    Title…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to mainly because we feel they are worth visiting[...]…

  5. Play Parking Games Free posted 23 hours, 9 minutes ago

    Online Article……

    [...]The info mentioned in the article are useful [...]……

  6. mural ideas posted 22 hours, 50 minutes ago

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  7. ebay japan posted 20 hours, 58 minutes ago

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  8. iPhone 5S Cheap UK posted 20 hours, 14 minutes ago

    iPhone 5S Cheap UK…

    [...]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get lots of link adore from[...]…

  9. binary options trading posted 13 hours, 43 minutes ago

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  10. Helping Actors Network in LA posted 9 hours, 33 minutes ago

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to piddeling around on the internet and found…

  11. brokers for binary options trading posted 9 hours, 11 minutes ago

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  12. Garcinia Cambogia posted 4 hours, 37 minutes ago

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  13. this website posted 4 hours, 27 minutes ago

    Thank you…

    [...]An impressive share, I simply given this on to a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me thank for the treat! But yeah Thnx for investing the effort to dis…

  14. Reptilien kaufen posted 3 hours, 32 minutes ago

    Looking around…

    While I was browsing today I noticed a great post about…

  15. top website hosting posted 44 minutes ago

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to web pages that we link to because we believe they are really worth visiting[...]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c