As summer veg ripens towards its nutrient-packed peak, pisto is an easy - and delicious - use for courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines. “Chorizo makes it more robust, but vegetarians can always leave that out and add a little more pimentón [smoked paprika] for flavour,” says chef José Pizarro, author of Spanish Flavours (£15.99, Kyle Books).
Preparation: 30 minutes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
- 300g aubergine, cut into 2cm pieces
- 200g courgettes, cut into 2cm pieces
- 400g skinned, chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
- 2 large free-range eggs
- pinch of hot pimentón (or normal paprika)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper, cover and cook gently for seven minutes until lightly golden.
2 Uncover, stir in the garlic, cumin and chillies, and cook for one minute. Stir in the aubergine, cover and cook for four minutes; stir in the courgettes, season and cook another four minutes.
3 Stir in the tomatoes, 150ml of water and the seasoning. Simmer for seven minutes until all the veg is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.
4 Break the eggs on top and sprinkle with some pimentón. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently until the eggs are set to your liking. Serve with fresh crusty bread.
A 100g serving of courgette nets you eight per cent of your daily potassium, a mineral that may help regulate blood pressure, according to research at St George’s University School of Medicine, London.
A bowl of pisto provides more than your RDA of vitamin C, with 60 per cent coming from the tomatoes alone. You need this vitamin to help heal wounds and keep cells healthy.
Plus, that vitamin C makes it easier for your body to absorb non-heme iron, found in aubergine.The mineral is essential for haemoglobin, which carries oxygen, via blood, to a runner’s tired muscles.
This recipe appeared in the August 2012 edition of the magazine. Thanks to Spanish Flavours for supplying this recipe.