Pisto is a rural dish that is often said to originate from the Spanish region of La Mancha. It is therefore often referred to as Pisto Manchego. However, it is prepared in slightly different versions in almost all of Spain.
It always consists of different kinds of vegetables, including aubergines, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes. Pisto tastes great hot or cold, with or without bread, as a side dish or as a main course. In Spain, it is often served with fried egg, ham or sausage.
First the onion, aubergine, bell pepper, courgette and tomato are cut into pieces of just under 1 cm.
Then these vegetables are stewed in their own juices in a specific order:
In a generous portion of olive oil, onion is first sautéed for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
This is followed by bell pepper, which is also sautéed for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now coarsely chopped garlic is added and cooked for another 2 minutes while stirring.
Next comes the aubergine for another 4 minutes…
…and the courgette for 2 further minutes.
The last vegetable to be added is tomato. Now season with some smoked paprika powder, ground cumin, salt and black pepper.
When everything is combined, we like to add a small amount of sherry or wine vinegar. You hardly ever read about this in Spanish recipes, but it is recommended: The acidity of the vinegar is reduced by further cooking, creating a fine balance with the sweetness of the vegetables and thus enhancing their own flavours.
It is important to reduce the heat now and let everything simmer gently for at least 10, better for 15 minutes without stirring.
In Spain, Pisto is often served with an egg fried crispy in olive oil. We prefer to prepare it like Shakshuka, forming a small hollow in the vegetables and slowly cooking the egg in it.
So in a short time, with very few ingredients, you have prepared a healthy and very light dish that can be enjoyed as part of a meal, as a side dish or as a main course. We have included the variant with egg for the sake of completeness; if you don’t want to eat it, just leave it out.
Fresh bread is the perfect companion.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 4 people as a side dish):
(The information refers to vegetables of average size)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp smoked paprika powder (Pimentón de la Vera)
½ tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar