This recipe is my variation on pisto, the wonderful mixed vegetable dish from Spain which is similar to French ratatouille. Instead of stewing the vegetables on the stovetop, I like the texture and smokiness imparted by the grill. The sherry vinegar and smoked paprika round out the flavors. The following proportions work well, but the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled when you have a bumper crop of vegetables. When covered and refrigerated, the spread lasts for at least a week. It can be served in countless ways: with fried eggs, on toasted bread slathered with goat cheese, a side to grilled meats, or even a smoky dip for tortilla chips. It's the type of low-fuss, high-reward dish that's perfect for summer entertaining. —EmilyC
2 to 3 cups
medium to large tomatoes, cored and halved
small red onion, halved
red bell pepper, halved
small eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
jalapeno or Serrano chili, cut in half lengthwise
2 to 3 T olive oil
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
sherry vinegar, or to taste
smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton), or more to taste
Preheat grill to medium, or alternatively, prepare grill pan indoors.
Brush vegetables with olive oil until evenly coated, and season with salt and pepper.
Grill vegetables, turning occasionally, until moderately charred and tender. The grilling times will vary from a few minutes for the tomatoes to 10 to 12 minutes for the peppers and onions. Transfer grilled vegetables to a platter and cool slightly.
Taste the jalapeno for heat. If hotter than desired, only use a portion of the pepper.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine grilled vegetables, Spanish paprika, and sherry vinegar (starting with a lesser amount). Pulse for 5 to 6 seconds. Add more sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. The spread should be well integrated but some chunks should still be visible. Alternatively, the grilled vegetables can be chopped into a medium dice by hand. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.