This is the dish my guests were most enamored of during our summertime Shabbat dinner (it is always the simplest things, right?).
It's inspired by the Jewish Roman recipe, concia, which is hundreds of years old. The Jews of Rome knew their way around summer vegetables — including zucchini, which they sliced, fried in olive oil, then marinated with chopped fresh herbs, garlic, and vinegar. The zucchini browns and turns silky, almost creamy, in its olive oil bath. And the herbs (I use parsley and basil) and garlic lend wonderful flavor and freshness to the finished dish.
I often serve this zucchini dish as a side to the main meal. It also tastes fantastic heaped on a slice of challah, so sometimes I set it out along with hummus and other bread-friendly spreads. Whatever you do, make a lot (I usually double the recipe), because there's a good chance you will catch people sneaking third helpings.
(910 grams) zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
finely chopped fresh basil
(10 grams) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
garlic, finely chopped
(80 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
(60 milliliters) red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons salt, and toss with your hands to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse well and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Stir together the basil, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the zucchini, turning once, until softened and lightly browned on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer half of the zucchini to a shallow ceramic, glass, or Pyrex (not metal) baking dish and top with half of the herb mixture and half of the vinegar. Taste and season lightly with salt, if desired (zucchini should already be salty), and pepper. Repeat with the remaining zucchini, herbs, and vinegar.
Let stand at room temperature, basting occasionally with the juices in the baking dish, for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, before serving. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.
Reprinted with permission from Modern Jewish Cooking by Leah Koenig, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Chronicle Books.