À la Zingara is a French phrase used in cooking to describe an accompanying garnish that is generally meant to be rich, exotic and slightly peppy. The phrase means “gypsy-style.”
What makes up an “à la zingara” garnish varies wildly. Often it is mushrooms, bell peppers and onions. Sometimes paprika is used instead of onions; sometimes tomatoes, black olives, wine or Madeira are added as well.
Basically, it appears that the one constant ingredient you can count on are mushrooms. This doesn’t necessarily make sense at first, as peppers or paprika would be the only things that could be remotely seen as being “peppy”, but it could be a reference to mushrooms being gathered from the wild in the woods.
The French words for gypsy are actually “tzigane” and “gitane” (as in the cigarettes), but for some reason the Italian word “zingara” is used in this phrase. Sometimes, though more rarely, this garnish may be referred to as “à la Gitana” or “à la Tsigane.”