Pisto – Spanish tomato and vegetable stew
This post, and this blog actually, were both inspired by a mistake made by Jamie Oliver. Now, I’m all for culinary fusion, but his interpretation of pisto as a version of pesto made with peas and mint made me cry a little rage-y tear. Confusing pisto and pesto is like confusing beer and beef – one letter different, but worlds apart. The world deserves to try the real pisto, and thus this blog, and this recipe was born.
Made from courgettes, aubergines, green peppers and tomatoes, Pisto is a rare truly vegetarian Spanish dish – no sneaky jamón here! It’s a rich, hearty stew which provides your 5-a-day, and more, kind of like a Spanish ratatouille. To boost pisto into a meal, it’s usually served with fried eggs or you could use mini quail eggs if you are eating it as a tapa.
2 green peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 batch of tomate frito – recipe here
1. Chop the onions,courgettes, aubergines and green peppers in 2cm dice. (You can peel the aubergines and courgettes if you prefer, but we often leave them on.)
2. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a deep saucepan on a medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and stir. (It will look like you have way too much food, but don’t worry! They’ll cook down.) Leave to cook for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring from time to time.
3. After 10 minutes, add a pinch of salt, pepper and oregano, cover and reduce to a low heat. Leave to cook for another 15 minutes or until soft.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, make tomate frito following this recipe.
5. Add all of the tomate frito to the cooked vegetables. Stir well, and cook for a further 5 minutes (or longer, if you prefer a less-liquid pisto.)
6. Serve plain or with a fried egg per person!