Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Antipasto di Zucchine, Pomodorini & Olive in Agrodolce
Sweet & Sour Zucchini, Cherry Tomato & Olive Antipasti

The prefect way to start any Italian meal, is with a nice anti-pasto, a "pre-pasta" dish, usually of grilled or marinated vegetables, or a selection of such. Sometimes, the antipasti end up being so delicious, that you sometimes overdo it a little... and feel full already by the time you get to your pasta dish- I am sure you have all made this troublesome experience!

So this evening, knowing I was going to love my little appetizer... and having a large appetite for it, I decided to skip the main dish and just enjoy an ample serving of the starter... and wonderfully tasty it was too!

This may not exactly be a traditional dish, but the ingredients and indeed the combination of flavors is very typically Sicilian. To make this, I used 2 of those small, round zucchini, 7-8 cherry tomatoes, a couple of spring onions and a handful of sliced olives. The herbs and spices I used were rosemary, fennel seeds, oregano, garlic, chives, mint and parsley... and the way I went about preparing it was something like this...

I started off, obviously, with the zucchini, as they are the only ingredient that actually needs cooking- when cut in this thickness anyway. I got a little olive oil nice and hot in my frying pan and then added the zucchini slices, the olives, the fennel seeds and the garlic.

Sautée the zucchini slices at a high heat and get busy chopping all the herbs up finely whilst they are browning... there is plenty of moisture in zucchini, so you won't need too much oil and it will take 4-5 minutes to get some good color into them. After 2-3 minutes, add the rosemary, as it is the most robust of the herbs and will both stand up to the heat better and give the dish more of it's aroma than the other more delicate herbs.

But after 4-5 minutes, it will indeed be time to add the tomatoes and all of the additional herbs and the onion. Season with salt and pepper and sautée for 2-3 minutes, then gave everything a nice, generous trickle of honey. Turn off the heat and continue stirring... the honey will brown very quickly and you don't want it to burn!

Turn the vegetables out onto your serving dish and add a good trickle of balsamic vinegar and a last sprinkle of salt. A few freshly chopped chives will bring a nice touch of freshness... and a couple of slices of ciabatta are all you need to enjoy this great sweet and sour dish! Oh- those yummy juices! Buon apetito indeed!


  1. Reminds me of a restaurante in Rome that was famous for its antipasti. In fact, you could go and order nothing but. The selection was fantastic. Of course, nothing was quite a colorful and healthy as this…

    1. Thanks for the comment Frank! Yes, I do try to keep things healthy... And somehow all of my food ends up being colorful! I was in Rome 2 years ago... But my next trip is going to be Bella Sicilia again in September... I can't wait! Saluti da Francoforte! Francesco

  2. This is so simple to make and yet so delicious. Very good instructions however, I decided to crumble some danish blue cheese from House of Castello. It really adds a lot of flavor and makes it a little more exciting! The honey is a nice touch, it lends itself to all the ingredients including the blue cheese.

  3. Glad you like it Iheartcheese! And whatever works is fine- if it tastes good it IS good! I will be making some dishes with Bavaria blue this week... maybe there will be something for you in there too! Best wishes, Francesco.