Ricette #12- Zucca alla Scapece with buffalo mozzarella, rucola in chilli mint oil
This is a recipe inspired by Neapolitan classic marinated vegetables. In Campania in fact curing vegetables is immensly popular. You can do ths with courgettes, squash, peppers- SCAPECE means almost sweet-n-sour and refers to the marinade, which varies in application but always has vinegar, herbs, chilli and oil at its core.
Mozzarella di Bufala is typically Neapolitan and with it milky silky texture it take the edge off the chilli but infused by the mint.
Rockets lends an extra depth of spice and the pupkin seed a pleasant crunch.
The more chilli and mint you use, the more flavour you add but try not to overwhelm the other ingredients.
- 1 kg squash
- Pumpkin seeds 10-15gr
- 2 garlic cloves
- Vegetable oil to fry the squash)
- 200 ml white wine vinegar
- mozzarella di bufala (4 balls)
- 30g Mint- finely chopped
- One red Chilli- de-seeded, finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- some bread for serving
Let’s start from the easiest part of the recipe. In a pan fry off for a few minutes your chilli with two tablespoons of olive oil. You want to flavour the oil so make sure you don’t burn the chilli, 2-3 minutes will suffice. Allow to cool.
Next, in a jam jar or spare bottle add your infused oil, a further 100mls and the finely chopped mint. Leave to infuse preferably overnight.
Peel the skin off the squash, halve then de-seed. Now slice the squash in thick 3 centimetre. Halve your garlic cloves. Add to a frying pan, drizzled with vegetable oil. Cook your till golden, then remove from the pan but keep aside. Now fry off your squash for 5-6minutes. Turn each side so it colours. Set aside to cool in a tupperware.
In the same pan, re-introduce the garlic you kept aside and boil your vinegar and half a glass of water for 10 minutes, after which add the liquid to your squash and allow to marinate for a few hours.
Now to serve. Drain away the vinegar from the squash, remove the water from the Bufalas. Cut in half. In a bowl put squash, rocket, pumkin seeds season and drizzle with your chilli mint oil.
On a plate place some of the salad squash mixture, lay the mozzarella on top- sprinkle with pepper and serve with griddled bread.