Make Ahead

Canal House's Marinated Zucchini

July  7, 2021
19 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

The summer side you can make whenever you have 15 minutes, and then completely forget about. Because the zucchini is already cooked through and relaxed, the marinade seeps in more quickly and thoroughly than had the order of operations been reversed. The zucchini boats become bright and aromatic, but hang onto their fresh structure and sweetness. It's just about the simplest, best summer side, whether you're serving it to a dinner party, your family, or just you. From Canal House Cooking Volume No. 8: Pronto (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound very small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Pepper
  • A small handful fresh basil leaves, sliced
  1. Working in batches as needed, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the zucchini cut side down in one layer in the hot skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a fork or tongs to turn the zucchini over, then cook them until tender, about 2 minutes, reducing the heat if the zucchini get too dark. Transfer the zucchini to a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the zucchini and add the basil. Gently toss everything together and adjust the seasonings. Let the zucchini marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Alternately, let marinate longer in the refrigerator. Tightly covered, marinated zucchini will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kiyo Miller
    Kiyo Miller
  • Regine
  • Lisa L.
    Lisa L.
  • Ann
  • Lindsey C Love
    Lindsey C Love
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

60 Reviews

Kim July 1, 2023
I wouldn't have believed I could enjoy zucchini this month (and my husband said the same). I will definitely make this again - tasty & so little effort.
Kim July 1, 2023
*much not month
Ann S. August 19, 2022
Apparently (based on past reviews!) I've been making this for several years now. It is excellent made exactly as written, and can also stand up to quite a bit of variation. Tonight, I made it with a large (about a pound - other ingredients scaled accordingly) pattypan squash cut into chunks a bit less than an inch, tossed with oil and roasted in the oven at 450 F on a foil-lined baking sheet for maybe 20-25 minutes (turning once or twice), and I used mint instead of basil as the rest of the meal was Greek-ish and mint seemed to make sense. Delicious! But the original recipe is best. It's one of those things that I forget and then suddenly remember, every year. Next trip to the farmers' market I'll pick up some baby zucchinis and do the proper recipe.
Kate May 30, 2022
Delicious. I've never come across baby zucchini but I've just halved horizontally then quartered my large zucchini. Yes, there is splatter, but damn this is delicious. I've tweaked over time and now I like lots of vinegar, sherry and red wine.
Linda K. May 28, 2020
Much better left to marinate overnight and used balsamic vinegar instead. Would mix the basil with the dressing to meld the flavors before pouring on the zucchini while warm. So simple and so good!
Kiyo M. August 11, 2019
I could not find tiny zucchini so I bought the smallest ones available at the market. I cut each zucchini in to 4 pieces. I enjoyed this simple dish however next time I would use much less olive oil in the pan. Also beware, the oil splatters quite a bit when frying the zucchini. The fresh basil made the dish stand out.
Susie S. March 29, 2019
A super-delicious dish and so easy. It’s so more-ish, particularly at room temperature. I’ve made it several times now, once with mint and basil together and either way it’s a winner. Great with chicken or roasted meats.
Regine August 31, 2017
This was very good but since it was hard for me to find small zuchinis, I used regular sized zuchinis. I usually cut each zuchiny in 2 and then slice each into 3 slices lengthwise. Since I had 1 lb, meaning twice the amount asked for in this recipe, I doubled the marinade. But in retrospect, I dont think it was necessary.
Lisa L. August 17, 2017
I don't have red wine vinegar, could I substitute for it with a different type of vinegar such as white wine or apple cider?
Raye A. August 20, 2020
Of course.
Ann June 25, 2017
Thank you for commenting anyway! It caused an email to land in my inbox, reminding me of this wonderful recipe I'd forgotten about since last summer. Off to the market to get some zucchini.........
okaykate June 25, 2017
Has anyone tried this on the grill? Is there a reason that doing this on the stove is superior? thx in advance F52!
okaykate June 25, 2017
sorry - i do see that quite a few people have cooked this on the grill. Apologies for posting in haste!
Sharon June 25, 2017
Ditto, Ann! Thanks for posting, okaykate. Haven't enjoyed this in quite a while and it's time to do it again. Great summer dish. Thanks for the reminder!
Cb November 1, 2016
Cb November 1, 2016
The last comment on here refers to "CSA." What is that?
Ann November 1, 2016
Community Supported Agriculture. Typically you buy a 'share' of a local farm's (or group of farm's) production and get a box of seasonal produce, or sometimes other items like cheese, meat, preserves, etc. every week or two. They can be fun if you enjoy the challenge of finding ways to cook an ingredient you might not select at the market yourself. And of course you're supporting local farmers with your subscription.
Lindsey C. August 26, 2016
I made this recipe for the first time yesterday. To say zucchini prepared this way is life-changing might be an understatement. We immediately went to the market and got more zucchini and will be having them again tonight. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!
Ann August 25, 2016
This is so so simple and so very good. I have made this a couple of times and just enjoyed leftovers from a few days ago tonight- it really does keep well. If scaling up, you don't need to keep the liquids proportional. I did 3 lb.of varied summer squash (the recipe is great with whatever summer squash is going) to only maybe 3X the rest of the ingredients. I used a particularly flavourful basil but other herbs would likely be good - I've seen a similar recipe calling for mint.
Andrea M. August 13, 2016
I can't help but wonder if the Canal House chefs were influenced by an old Italian recipe called, Concia. Though both are good, I prefer the Concia....its a great appetizer or sandwich filling.
Rosalba P. July 18, 2016
My father made zucchini in this method all through my childhood (without the garlic ), this is as authentic Sicilian as it gets! thanks for taking me back!
judy July 10, 2016
I do a version of this baked in the oven. Set oven to 400F. cut zucchini into coins about 1/4 thick-use any size zucchini. Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic and some pepper in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Toss the zucchini until well-coated. Lay the zucchini out on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 7-12 minutes, depending on how cooked you like them. WE like to sprinkle with a little grated parmesan-the stuff from the green can--I know but seriously good. Now you have the oil and vinegar base left in the salad bowl. Use it to build a great salad dressing to go with your salad for a nice dinner. We like fish or chops and roasted potatoes. We will use this base to toss any veggies we have , roast them and they are the side for our dinner.
Jill F. July 5, 2016
Second time I have made these and I love them. Great recipe, perfect farmer's market dinner item.
MisplacedNHGal March 10, 2016
Really, really good! I had a bit of pre-toasted pine nuts in the pantry, so checked them on at the last minute.
M O. February 7, 2016
This dish is so sensational! I do not change a thing, except I have used regular sized zucchini and they come out great too!
Seher August 26, 2015
Just made it today and it was sooo delicious. Could you do the same method with eggplant or some peppers?
Rebekah September 1, 2015
We did this a few nights ago with zucchini and eggplant and the eggplant was great - went faster than the zucchini!