Happy Labor Day!
I hope everyone’s been having a fantastic weekend – around Cincinnati we have a giant Labor Day fireworks display along with a huge Labor day picnic (that my husband incidentally helps organize) but the rain has been sprinkling on and off for the past two days, i.e. the weather has not been cooperating with all of our standard outdoor activities.
Labor Day started in 1882 in New York City by the Central Labor Union and was officially recognized by Congress in 1894. The entire holiday is dedicated to the workers that made the USA great, the men and women who were and still are the backbone of the country.
In that spirit I’d like to present this Pisto Manchego, a Spanish sort of vegetable stew.
I’m sure you thinking, “What? What does a Spanish vegetable type stew have to do with American workers?” Here’s my thought process, this is the kind of dish that working men and women can easily put together, while sticking to a budget that gives you that feeling of deep soul satisfying yummy-ness as you eat it.
It seems simple, but is so much more than the sum of its parts. Served with a medium fried egg on top with the perfect runny yolk to mix in and tie all the vegetables together, plus some simple whole grain bread on the side and you end up with one awesome dinner that everyone ends up gobbling up.
For lunches, I hardboiled eggs, one for each portion, and then the eggs were peeled, quickly crumbled and mixed it. Plus due to the very nature of this dish it was, dare I say it, one of those dishes that only improves when eaten as a leftover lunch.
One caveat is that the dish isn’t the quickest – keep in mind that you’ll spend around 20 minutes chopping, 15 minutes of cooking and about 30 minutes of simmering (but at least that part is hands off) so for the super busy, they may want to keep this as a weekend meal versus a weeknight. Or even better, feel free to double it and make it on Sunday for a super simple make ahead Monday or Tuesday night dinner (just wait to cook the eggs until you’re actually serving it).
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 poblano, diced
- 1 medium zucchini (or yellow squash), diced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes (about 3 cups), seeded and diced (if tomatoes are out of season use a 28 oz can diced tomatoes that have been half drained, reserving half the liquid)
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp freshly minced flat leaf parsley
- 2 oz Manchego, finely grated - while Manchego is highly recommended since that's, you know, in the title an aged Parmigiano Reggiano could be used in a pinch
- 1 ½ tsp Smoked Spanish paprika
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp sugar
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 4 eggs, cooked to your liking
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the white wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced and the mixture is just slightly liquidly (you’re looking for about 1 – 2 Tbsp of liquid in the pan).
- Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, smoked Spanish paprika, oregano and sugar, mixing well to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the sherry vinegar, parsley, remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Top with eggs cooked to your liking.
Nutritional Info includes eggs but will vary slightly depending on how you cook the eggs. Recipe slightly adapted from Food & Wine.