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Spanish Pisto


Reminiscent of the French ratatouille, this Spanish version is flavored with smoked paprika and a splash of red wine vinegar. Loaded with veg, it’s equally delicious served hot as it is at room temperature, as a main meal with bulghur wheat or rice or as a side.   I’d recommend topping it with a good spoonful or two of picada, a zesty, crunchy, nutty, herby accompaniment for the finishing touch.   Low 4–5 hours High 3–4 hours


Prepare the Spanish Pisto

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and fry the onion and aubergine/eggplant for 10 minutes, until softened and starting to color. Add the garlic and sauté for another two minutes.
2. Tip the oil, onion and aubergine/eggplant into the slow cooker pot with the rest of the ingredients up to and excluding the vinegar. Cover and cook for four to five hours on low or three to four hours on high. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a generous spoonful of the picada (recipe follows).

Prepare the Picada

Zesty, nutty and herby – this Spanish relish adds texture and a boost of flavor to vegetable and bean-based stews, grain and pasta dishes. It’s traditionally pounded to a paste, but I coarsely chop the almonds as I like it with a bit of crunch.

1. Toast the almonds in a large, dry frying pan/skillet over a medium-low heat for five minutes, turning once, or until starting to color. Tip onto a chopping board and leave to cool.
2. Add one tablespoon olive oil to the pan/skillet and fry the bread for five minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp. Stir the garlic into the pan and cook for another 30 seconds.
3. Coarsely chop the almonds, then add to a serving bowl with the parsley and lemon zest.
4. Roughly crush the bread with the end of a rolling pin and add to the bowl. Add a good pinch of salt and pour in the remaining oil. Stir until combined, then serve.


From Healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Slow Cooker: Over 60 recipes for Nutritious, Home-Cooked Meals from Your Slow Cooker by Nicola Graimes, published by Ryland Peters & Small

Photography by Kate Whitaker © Ryland Peters & Small 2022

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