Entree · Vegetarian


Spanish Ratatouille (Pisto)

Pisto is a traditional Spanish vegetable stew served as a side dish or a tapa, similar to a ratatouille with a spanish twist. After a brief cooking hiatus while visiting my in-laws in southern Spain, I cooked again!!! While I don´t do much cooking while on vacation, I needed a Spaniard to approve of my Spanish recipe before I shared it with you.

I am on a vegetable kick, and I am currently in a small fishing town where they eat lots of fish and occasionally some Iberian pork. The problem is that I have a mild intolerance to fish. The pork here is AMAZING, how can pork taste so different from one country to another? I don’t want to create a pork recipe because it may never taste the same back in the USA. The beef here is totally different. I think it´s mostly veal.

Some friends gave us an entire leg of “Jamon Iberico.” This cured ham is made from Iberian black-hooved pigs. These pigs are allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, acorns, and roots. Once they become adults they are fed exclusively acorns. The hams are cured with salt for a period of time between 12 to 48 months. A total delicacy! If you ever get a chance to visit Spain you must try it, make sure the ham has a black hoof though. We thought eating an entire 24 lb ham was a gargantuan task, but it certainly will be finished before we return home, this thing is addictive! Hence my desperate need for veggies right now!

2-3 tbsp of oil of your choice
2 lbs of diced tomatoes
1 medium shredded carrot
1 medium diced eggplant
1 medium diced Mexican squash or zucchini
1 medium diced red bell pepper
1 medium diced green bell pepper
1 medium diced onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp of cumin
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onions with the olive oil for 3-5 minutes
Add the tomatoes and the carrot and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes
Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook until vegetables are very tender (I cooked it for 20 minutes)

Optional step: Add some eggs on top 5 minutes before the pisto is done, to poach them or simply serve the pisto with a sunny side up egg on top.

For another vegetarian spanish recipe check our gazpacho recipe


6 thoughts on “Pisto

  1. Thanks for posting. When I lived in Spain, my host mother made pisto as a soup often and I haven’t had it since. Ironically, when I stayed on in Madrid, living alone, I made ratatouille often. I think I may have got tired of all the meat, but most likely just because it was cheap!


  2. I imagine the pork is so much better (1) because of the hogs’ diet, and (2) Americans are breeding the fat out, and that fat keeps the meat juicy and adds to the flavor. My aunt and uncle had a small hog operation a few years ago, and they often supplemented the hogs’ diets with vegetable scraps. They totally ruined me on supermarket pork.


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