This is one of my husband's favorite zucchini dishes. It can be made ahead and served at room temperature as an appetizer or served warm as a side dish. I use anchovies packed in salt but you could also use oil packed anchovies. If you want to lighten the dish you could brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and grill or broil them, and then prepare the sauce in a small skillet, but fried zucchini is just so yummy.
2 tablespoons raisins
1 1/2 pounds young zucchini
unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cloves garlic
2 anchovy filets
salt to taste
Put the raisins in a small bowl and add enough warm water to cover them, set them aside to soak.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips, a mandoline works great for this. Dredge the zucchini slices in flour.
Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Toast the pine nuts until golden, remove from the pan and set aside. Pour enough olive oil into the pan to film the bottom, add enough zucchini slices to fit in the pan without crowding, fry the zucchini, turning once until golden brown on both sides. Set the zucchini on paper towels and blot the tops with another towel to soak up any excess oil. Continue frying the zucchini in batches, adding more olive oil as needed, until all the zucchini is done. Remove the pan from the heat while you arrange the zucchini slices on a platter, I like to overlap them in a pretty pattern.
Stir the wine vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl. Mince the garlic and anchovy filets. Drain the raisins.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan and return the pan to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and anchovy to the pan and saute briefly. Add the raisins, pine nuts, and vinegar/sugar mixture to the pan and cook briefly, stirring in any browned bits in the pan, until the vinegar is slightly reduced and syrupy. Spoon the mixture evenly over the zucchini and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately or you can set it aside at room temperature for up to a few hours.
Makes 4 side dish servings or more as an appetizer.