Zucchini Agrodolce

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Of all the vegetables that I grow in my garden, nothing seems to be as prolific as my zucchinis and whilst I love to use them, they can be a challenge to serve as a vegetable on their own. Here is a wonderful recipe by Maggie Beer from her Verjuice Cookbook that uses more mature zucchini (but not more than 13cm long as they become bitter) and is perfect with grilled chicken, fish or lamb. As Maggie says, the key to this dish is in the salting, which really brings out an intensity in flavour in the zucchinis which is otherwise lacking.

 

Zucchini Agrodolce

2 tablespoons dried currants

60ml verjuice (¼ cup)

450g zucchini, cut into 3cm rounds

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

60ml extra virgin olive oil (¼ cup)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint leaves

 

Place the currants and verjuice in a small bowl and leave to soak for 1 hour. Spread the zucchini rounds on a wire rack, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and leave for 1 hour, then rinse the zucchini and pat dry really well with paper towel, pressing down lightly to draw out any remaining moisture.
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180ºC (200ºC) Place the pine nuts on a baking tray and roast for 6-7 minutes or until golden, checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the zucchini and cover the pan with the lid. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, turning the zucchini half-way through the cooking time. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the currants and any verjuice not absorbed and cook for 1 minute or until the liquid has reduced by half and the zucchini is tender.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle over the pine nuts. Check for seasoning and scatter over the chopped mint at the very last moment.
Serves 4 as an accompaniment.
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