In the Italian cookbook we can find numerous dishes with the term agrodolce, which can refer both to a technique and to a condiment or seasoning present in traditional recipes closely linked to the Mediterranean, such as caponata or fish preparations. In this zucchini version, the humble vegetable takes on a spectacular and almost addictive tastenot suitable for more finicky palates.
This healthy dish, perfect for the end of summer or any time of the year, is an adaptation of Yotam Ottolengui, very fond of versioning Italian dishes with his own particular touch and also looking towards the Anglo-Saxon public. In reality there is not much of a mystery: the agrodolce on the one hand, you cook the grilled zucchini and everything is combined with some other ingredient, leaving it to rest.
Ottolenghi accompanies him with ricottabut in the absence of fresh Italian cheese we have used cottage cheese, also slightly sweet, protein rich and low in fat, to make it a more nutritious meal that’s perfect for light lunches or easy dinners. A cottage cheese, more solid fresh goat cheese from Burgos, a grilled feta or halloumi would also do very well.
Heat the raisins with the vinegar, a pinch of salt and the honey in a saucepan, mixing well. Cook over low heat for a few 15-20 minutes until it reduces a little, remove, add the chili flakes (optional) and let cool.
Heat a layer of oil in a frying pan and fry the capers over medium heat until they open and remain crispy without burning Remove to a plate with kitchen paper. Combine the fresh cheese in a bowl with a little garlic powder, black pepper, lemon zest and a splash of juice.
Mingle the cut zucchini in a bowl with a little of the oil from the capers, salt and pepper, and cook on the grill or griddle in batches, turning them until they are at the desired point. Remove to a platter as you’re ready.
Combine the courgette with a little of the agrodolce if you have time to marinate it for half an hour, or serve directly on plates or a large platter with the fresh cheese on the sidethe dressing on top, the crunchy capers and chopped fresh basil, adding a little more lemon zest.
With what to accompany the agrodolce zucchini
Fresh and light, but quite satiating thanks to the cheese and the fiber of the zucchini, we can serve this dish first in any menu to accompany meat or fish, or even some legumes such as lentil meatballs. We could also turn it into a more complete single dish by adding a poached or boiled egg, or opening a can of good anchovies or sardines.
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