Adapted from Ryan Hardy, chef and partner of Charlie Bird, New York
By Jackie Cooperman in the Wall Street Journal
Ryan Hardy of Charlie Bird called scapece “perhaps the most genius of all Italian marinades.” Like its Spanish cousin escabeche, scapece was originally designed for preserving fried fish. “This combination of sweet and sour, garlic and mint makes zucchini or butternut squash shine even more brilliantly,” said Mr. Hardy. “Use it with some whipped ricotta and toast.”
Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1¼ hours (includes marinating) Makes: 2 cups marinade, enough for 1 pound of vegetables
- 1 pound vegetables, mixture of zucchini, eggplant and/or butternut squash, cut into ½-inch slices
- Sea salt
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch Calabrian red chili flakes
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon mint leaves
1. Season vegetables with sea salt. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, sauté vegetables until caramelized, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer vegetables to paper-towel lined plates.
2. Make scapece: In the same pan used to cook vegetables, sweat garlic until lightly caramelized, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and chili flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Off heat, add vinegar, salt and mint. Return pan to stove and simmer until salt and sugar dissolve, about 2 minutes.
3. Pour scapece over caramelized vegetables. Set aside and allow vegetables to marinate at room temperature 1 hour. To serve, drizzle marinated vegetables with remaining oil.
—Adapted from Ryan Hardy, chef and partner of Charlie Bird, New York