Secret Recipe Club: Pisto Manchego

A vibrant mix of bacon, onion, tomato, zucchini, and colorful bell peppers, Pisto Manchego is often referred to as Spanish ratatouille.

Pisto Manchego with Zucchini -

It's because of recipes like this Pisto Manchego that I love being part of the Secret Recipe Club, because every month I get the chance to discover new-to-me blogs full of swoon-worthy recipes from all over the world. My assignment this month is Things I Made Today written by Vicky Cassidy, a wife and mom who loves to cook, bake, blog and photograph everything around her. Vicky's blog is so beautiful and elegant, it's like looking through the pages of a gourmet food magazine like Saveur or Food & Wine. It's no surprise that her recipes have been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, The Kitchn, and Food52. But what I liked most about Vicky's blog is that it features simple, easy-to-follow recipes made with fresh ingredients.

You already know that I chose to make Pisto Manchego, but quite a few of Vicky's recipes caught my attention. Recipes like Thyme & Olive Bread, Zucchini Gazpacho, Sweet Potato, Chocolate, & Hazlenut Cake. and Brussel Sprout Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing. (Oh, if only I could find brussel sprouts in Small Town, Mexico!) 

Zucchini (Pisto Manchego) Tostadas -

Now about that Pisto Manchego... This recipe spoke to me on so many levels. One, because zucchini is my all-time favorite vegetable. And two, hello... Bacon AND Manchego cheese! I knew just from reading through the ingredients that it was going to be good, and I was not mistaken. It was beyond delicious. The aroma and flavor of the crisp, salty bacon with the colorful array of sweet bellpeppers was intoxicating. It was love at first bite.

The great thing about Pisto Manchego is that it can be served as a side dish, with say Baked Garlic-Lime Tilapia, or you could serve it as the main dish with a baguette and some red wine. Or if you're anything like me and can't help but give recipes a slight Mexican twist, you could serve this Pisto Manchego atop baked tostada shells for an easy weeknight dinner.

Zucchini Pisto Manchego -

Pisto Manchego 
(recipe from Things I Made Today)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 bell peppers, chopped (I used 1 green, red, yellow, and orange) 
  • 6 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 4 oz. Manchego cheese, sliced or grated 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the onions and garlic; cook until translucent. Add the bell peppers and let cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and tomatoes; season with salt and black pepper. Cover skillet and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and top with torn pieces of sliced Manchego cheese. Serve with a baguette, toasted bolillo rolls, or baked tostada shells. Enjoy!

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