Talented Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy is the owner of the critically acclaimed Tapas Revolution, he has published a hugely successful cookbook, also called Tapas Revolution, and a second book 'Spanish Made Easy' - and we are loving it.
We got hooked on our visits to the Tapas Revolution at Bluewater, and after sampling their Pisto on a recent visit, we decided it was time to get back in the kitchen and make our own. We don't quite measure up to Omar's standards but it is a great way to cook together and try new ideas. So we bought 'Spanish Made Simple' and set to work on creating our own exciting dishes at home.
Pisto is a warming and very traditional vegetable stew, similar to ratatouille. In the last week we have tried a selection of variations on this one recipe, including adding some chorizo and Manchego cheese.
We have tried with, and without, the eggs, and we have also had aubergine boats filled with pisto too! Served alone or as a side to grilled chicken breast, fish or as a tapas plate with a selection of other dishes, this pisto is versatile, adaptable and most of all delicious.
Below is the recipe for the filled aubergines, but we love to play and have made the pisto to fill other vegetables, top toast, or as a stand alone dish with crusty bread rolls. The book is full of easy to follow ideas for meals in minutes - and we are working our way through our favourite finds.
Discover more recipes, books, and Omar's story at www.tapasrevolution.com - and next time you are passing one of their cafe bars, stop in for a few small tapas plates.
Berenjenas Rellenas De Pisto
- 2 large aubergines (eggplant)
- 100ml (half cup) olive oil
- 1 onion - diced
- 1 red bell pepper - cut in to cubes
- 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves
- 1 courgette (zucchini) - cut in to cubes
- 2 tomatoes - cut in to cubes
- 1 tsp sugar
- A pinch of smoked paprika
- 50g Manchego cheese
- Pinch of ground cumin
For the sauce
- 150g blackberries
- 4tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4 and line a baking sheet with parchment
- Trim straight across the top and bottom of each aubergine and cut them in half lengthwise. Stand them up and use a paring knife and spoon to carefully hollow out each half - to make little boat bowls. Cut close to the skin without piercing it. Cut the removed flesh in to cubes.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a high heat and saute the onion for 1 minute.
- Add the red pepper for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the sliced garlic, aubergine and courgette cubes.
- Once the vegetables have started to caramelise, add the tomato cubes, sugar, paprika, cumin and a pinch of salt - and continue to saute for another two minutes.
This is now pisto and the vegetables should be cooked through but still have some bite. To continue: -
- Season the aubergine bowls with salt and fill with the cooked pisto.
- Bake for 20 minutes then top with the cheese and return to the over for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting the washed and dried berries in a saucepan with the sugar, over a low heat. Stirring occasionally, heat until the sugar has become a rich syrup
- Stand the aubergine bowls on a plate and spoon the blackberries and syrup over the top.
We could not find any blackberries in the shops when we made this so opted to drizzle over a Odysea Pomegranate Molasses instead.