Zucchini in Carpione
Mmm...I recently spent the day at my friend, Gigliola's house in Como. Presumably not far from the very attractive and politically right-on (left-on?) George Clooney, we had a delicious lunch and started working on an English-for Science-students project.
Gigliola prepared a few lovely vegetarian dishes that we all ate heartily. This one, "zucchini in carpione" is a vegetarian version of a classic fish dish made with, as Gigliola describes it, "'carpione', a trout species ( Salmio trutta carpio) = Carp." Carp. I've never been happier to be eating the vegetarian version of something. I don't think carp in Italy is as maligned as in the States. And even Stateside, it wasn't always so bad, I mean, over 100 years ago, we introduced carp from China into America's waterways because they were so delicious.
baby zucchini with their flowers
flour for dredging
oil for pan frying
red onion, sliced
herbs (she used sage & thyme but you can opt for anything that seems good to you)
Slice the zucchini into long 1/4 inch slices. Separate the flowers from the zucchini ends. Reach into each flower and carefully pull off the stamen. Coat everything with flour and fry on both sides until light golden. Remove from the pan and place in a low dish. Fry the sliced onion in the pan then add it to the dish with the zucchini. Mince the herbs, place them in a small bowl, add a small amount of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and some extra virgin olive oil. Whisk to blend and pour over the zucchini. Let stand at room temperature for a couple hours to allow the flavors to blend.
We ate this dish with a lot of crusty bread and some nice white wine. It's perfect for summer since it's eaten at room temperature and can/must be made ahead of time.