This weekend, Chicago’s weather hit what I’m pretty sure is a season low of 15 degrees. Happy New Year. With the weather outside looking so frightful, I was hesitant to make today’s selection, pisto manchego, a dish that can best be described as Spanish ratatouille. Originating in the La Mancha region of central Spain, it contains any number of summer vegetables native to the region, usually eggplant, squash, peppers and tomatoes. But wait, it IS winter you say, so… why am I making a seemingly summer dish? Because thanks to the farming powers that be, we no longer need to limit our kitchens to using ingredients in season. And, since this pisto’s versatility allows for it to be served either warm or cold, it’s really a food for all seasons. This can be served as a side or a main dish, on bread or in a bowl, as a filling for empañadas or as part of a tapas plate. It’s usually accompanied by most traditionally eggs, or any sort of meat you like. I happened to have chicken in the freezer begging to be used, so that was my protein of choice.
If you’re looking for something to kick off 2013’s resolution to eat healthier, look no further because you can’t get much healthier than a plate full of veggies. This recipe makes a lot, but sources say it freezes well. Or, you can just eat it, pretty much guilt free. This is really easy…pretty much just a chop and drop.
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 yellow summer squash, roughly chopped
- 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- ½ cup dry Spanish white wine
- 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika (or more if you like)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Handful of parsley
- Handful of manchego cheese, as a topper
- Olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep dished sauté pan. Add the chicken and cook 4-5 minutes per side until almost cooked through. Remove from the pan.
- Add the onion to the pan, and cook until starting to get translucent. Add the squash, zucchini, garlic, peppers and seasonings, and cook about 5 minutes until starting to get soft.
- Add the tomatoes and wine.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, and let simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20-30 minutes.
- Garnish with cheese and parsley.