Italian-style sweet & sour zucchini

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With the zucchini harvest up to 60 pounds now, I have been scrambling to find new ways to prepare it.  They’ve all been great, and so diverse (zucchini quinoa cakes, zucchini muffins, relish, soup, stir fry).  But sometimes you just want an old favorite.  This recipe is one my mom included in the book she made for me when I went off to college, complete with adorable illustrations.

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Last night I finally got around to making it to serve alongside spaghetti and meatballs.  It is pretty quick and easy, with a ton of bold flavors.  Even with the agridulce sauce, you can still appreciate the subtle taste of the zucchini.  It’s marvelous.  Delicious hot or cold.

I’m thinking of using the leftover sauce and zucchini (chopped) in a quinoa salad.  The whole slices would also be a tasty addition to an Italian sub (think cold cuts, cheese, fresh veggies and this nearly pickled zucchini) or baguette (mozzarella, basil, tomato, and sweet & sour zucchini).  You could also make a delicious appetizer by rolling these slices around some goat cheese.  I think next time I better make a double batch so I can try all these leftover ideas!

Recipe
Time: 20 minutes total, most of it hands-on with some time to clean while zucchini cooks
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 large or 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
¼ c olive oil
3T red wine vinegar
1T sugar
1T chopped basil
Salt & pepper

Directions
1.  Slice zucchini lengthwise in 3/8” thick slices.  (If using a large zucchini, cut in half crosswise first to yield slices that will fit in the pan.)

2.  Heat 2T olive oil in a fry pan on medium-high.  When the oil shimmers, add several zucchini slices leaving room to turn.  Fry until light brown, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook the other side.  Remove to a serving plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Repeat step 2 with remaining slices.

3.  When all the zucchini is cooked, pour another 2T olive oil into the pan and swirl.  Holding a splatter screen or lid over the pan to protect yourself, carefully pour vinegar into the pan.  Once the splattering dies down add the sugar.  Stir occasionally while it boils for 2 minutes.

4.  Pour sauce over the zucchini and sprinkle basil on top.  Serve hot or warm.

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