This dish is so tasty and so easy. It’s perfect for picnics or backyard cookouts. And if you have any leftover (unlikely) it makes a delicious pasta sauce with the addition of a little marinara and a splash of white wine.

Pan-Fried Zucchini with Tomato Vinaigrette

recipe by Giada DeLaurentis

yellow and green zucchiniIngredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced*
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add half of the zucchini slices so they lay in one single layer. Cook until deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Flip each slice and cook an additional 4 minutes to brown the other side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and continue with the remaining oil, zucchini and salt. Place drained zucchini on a platter and sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  2. When all the zucchini has been removed, turn off the heat and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet. Add the anchovy paste and break apart with a wooden spoon until it dissolves and smells toasted. Add the capers, oregano, red pepper flakes and tomato. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir. Spoon the tomato mixture over the zucchini and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Don’t be afraid of the anchovy paste. Just a little bit adds wonderful umami to all kinds of dishes and you’d never guess it’s in there. Here are some ideas. I keep a tube in my refrigerator at all times along with a jar of capers.

*I use cherry or grape tomatoes for this dish. I love how easy they are to just cut in two and toss in the pan. In fact, I use them to make easy fresh pasta sauces all summer long.