Pisto manchego, a classic peasant dish from Castilla La Mancha, is made all over Spain. It uses a combination of diced and then pan-fried vegetables, in a similar fashion to the French ratatouille or the Sicilian caponata. Only two ingredients seem to appear in all the recipe versions: tomato and pepper – everything else depends on what's seasonally available. This hearty version uses eggplant and zucchini!
Eggplant Pisto Manchego: Spanish ‘Ratatouille’ [Vegan]
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled. and diced
- 2 brown onion, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Peel and dice the eggplant. Place it in a bowl and sprinkle some salt over it. Let it rest for 30 minutes, so that the bitterness disappears. Repeat the same steps with the zucchini, but keep the skin on.
- Now, blanch the tomatoes so that you can peel them easily. To do this, bring some water to boil and add the tomatoes. After a minute or two, take them out and place them in a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. This way, we’ll stop them from cooking. Peel, dice, and reserve.
- Peel and dice the onions. Slice the garlic. Chop the peppers.
- Heat some oil in a pan and start poaching the onion and the garlic over medium-low heat.
- In a separate big pan, heat a little drop of oil and toss the pepper over a high temperature for a couple of minutes until slightly brown. Reserve.
- Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Toast it until golden, then set aside. Do the same with the zucchini. When they become golden, add the peppers and the eggplants, and keep cooking over a medium heat.
- Check the onions in the other pan. Once they are completely poached, add the diced tomatoes and keep cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Add the onions and tomatoes to the other ingredients, mix well, season to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes before serving.