FRIED ZUCCHINI – ZUCCHINE FRITTE (Zucchini are called CUCUZZEDDI in Sicilian)

 

One of the delights of my childhood was to eat a panino stuffed with slices of fried zucchini. Truly, this tastes amazing.

I found this variety of round shaped zucchini at my favourite vegetable stall in the Queen Victoria Market; last year Gus and Carmel also had this variety and I had seen them previously both in markets in Sicily and in Tuscany.

The method of placing zucchini (or slices of eggplants) on a baking sheet and cooking them in the oven is not used in Italy — grilled means having grill marks, cooked over an open flame or in the home kitchen (on a ferro – a grill pan) and fried means shallow fried in hot extra virgin olive oil.

The fried (and the grilled) zucchini can be placed on a plate of  pasta – spaghetti dressed with a simple, summer, tomato salsa made with ripe tomatoes, basil, garlic, a little salt and extra virgin olive oil. They also can serve as part of an antipasto plate or be a contorno (side dish to accompany the main).

Fried zucchini are usually presented at room temperature — this means that they can be cooked well in advance.

PROCESSES
Slice the zucchini lengthwise.
Sprinkle the slices with a little salt on one side. Rest for 10 minutes. Pat dry on paper towels (I have a number of tea towels that I use for this purpose) to remove the beads of moisture.
Fry in a little hot extra virgin olive oil. Turn only once.

I presented these fried zucchini with good quality bread, roasted garlic (not an Italian custom, French maybe ) and fresh mint leaves. We each made our own panini, had a terrific time and a great lunch!!

 

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3 thoughts on “FRIED ZUCCHINI – ZUCCHINE FRITTE (Zucchini are called CUCUZZEDDI in Sicilian)”

  1. Marisa, I am interested in the fact that you salted the zucchini as if eggplant. This is not something I normally do with zucchini. Does it draw excess moisture out to help with the frying?

  2. Yes, exactly.It is to remove excess moisture.

    If you are making zucchini fritters, you also do this (grate, salt, drain and combine with flour, egg and water, then fry. Some people use grated fresh breadcrumbs instead of the flour).

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