Zucchine alla Poverella

Poor Woman’s Courgettes


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This traditional way of preparing courgettes comes from Basilicata, and gets its name from the fact that all its ingredients are cheap and readily available. Most people who cultivate their own courgettes will also have garlic and mint growing in the garden, and oil and vinegar in the kitchen.


  • 8 medium courgettes/zucchini trimmed
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup olive oil
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup light red wine vinegar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • sea salt


  1. Using a peeler, slice the courgettes lengthways into thin strips.
  2. Heat the oil in a shallow pan. When it is very hot, add the courgette strips, in batches, and fry for about 4 minutes on each side or until softened and golden.
  3. Lift out the strips with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Layer the courgettes in a heatproof dish, sprinkling each layer with a little salt and chopped mint. Set aside.
  4. Pour the wine vinegar into a pan and add a pinch of salt. Stir in the garlic and the remaining mint. Boil for 5 minutes, then pour all over the courgettes. Leave to stand until cold, then cover and place in the refrigerator. Serve lightly chilled.