Rinse the mint leaves and pat them dry. Snip most of them into pieces, but keep a sprig intact for garnishing your dish later.
Rise and pat dry your zucchini. Trim off the ends diagonally. Cut each zucchini in half by making a long, diagonal slice through the zucchini. (See photos in the blog post). Then, diagonally slice each half into planks about 3 inches long and ½ inch thick.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on high. (You need enough oil to come up ¼ inch high in your pan.) When the oil is hot, use kitchen tongs to place some zucchini in the pan in a single layer. (You will need to fry the planks in batches.)
Cook the first side for 4-5 minutes, or until the top of the zucchini is starting to get brown on the edges. Flip it over and cook the second side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. (The zucchini are done when both sides are golden brown.)
Let the oil drip off each zucchini plank as you lift it out of the pan with tongs. Place the cooked zucchini in a dish temporarily, until you are ready to assemble layers in your serving bowl. (You need something deep enough to hold the vinegar.)
When all the zucchini is fried, arrange a layer of zucchini in the bottom of your serving bowl, going in one direction. Add some of the salt and pepper, toss on a little garlic and some mint leaves. Add another layer of zucchini on top, in the opposite direction. Add your salt and pepper, garlic and mint. Continue making another layer as needed, going in the opposite direction for each layer. (You should get three layers of zucchini, but it will depend on the size of your bowl.)
Drizzle on your red wine vinegar and arrange a sprig of mint on top. Let the zucchini sit at room temperature for at least 30-60 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to meld.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days, eating them cold or at room temperature as a side dish. They're also great in a sandwich!
If making multiple batches of this recipe, be sure to discard your oil when it gets brown and replace it with fresh oil for frying.Mint: If you don't have access to fresh mint from the garden, you can buy a small quantity at most grocery stores. (It's usually sold in a flat, plastic box next to the other herbs.)Mint Substitute: If you're not a fan of mint, no worries. You can substitute fresh basil. You need something with pleasantly potent flavor.Vinegar: We always make this with red wine vinegar. It provides a nice zing. But, if you need a substitute, try balsamic vinegar.Oil: You need something with a high heat point for frying, so olive oil is not a good option. I use canola oil, and Mom uses corn oil. You could use avocado oil or vegetable oil, instead.