Few days ago I got a really huge round Zucchini. It was cropped just the day before I bought it from a local organic farm and it was looking so tasty and fresh that I thought: why not preserve any for the winter?
It was my first "Zucchine Sott'olio" and even if I knew the basic procedure to preserve vegetables I preferred to text my mother asking her advice. As a biologist and excellent cook, she has a lot of experience of homemade food, and she will give you the best recipe and, if necessary, even correlated with the scientific explanation!
Here the recipe:
Cut the zucchini lengthwise in thick slices.
Fill a saucepan with 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and then cook the zucchini for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Drain the zucchini and place them into a jar, earlier sterilized. Season with garlic, mint, oregano, and red pepper flakes. When the jar is full submerge the zucchini in olive oil. Tightly seal the jar.
In a couple of days Zucchiniti are ready to eat, but also may be kept like this for up to 3 months, as long as the olive oil level covers the zucchini.
- Question: why the vinegar helps to preserve food?
- Answer: the vinegar changes the pH to prevent the enzymes in the microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) from working.