No need to explain what pesto is. The garlicky basil mixture is now as common as peanut butter. Pisto is entirely different. It's a Spanish tomato and vegetable combination that you can use for anything from a spread for bread to a pasta sauce.
Here's an easy version, roasted instead of simmered in a pot. It's from the cookbook that will go with KitchenAid's new Torrent blender, due out early next year. In the photo at the top, it's the red mixture in the center. You can see a couple of the new blenders at upper left.
The food was set out at Melissa's, the produce distributor, which hosted the blender demo. Above is a closer look at pisto, as prepared in Melissa's kitchen. The dish in the foreground is pumpkin hummus.
ROASTED VEGETABLE PISTO
From "Torrent Blender Recipes" by KitchenAid
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 plum (roma) tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Toasted French bread slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and black pepper in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread on baking sheet in single layer.
Roast 45 to 55 minutes or until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
Place roasted vegetables, vinegar and red pepper in blender container. Cover and pulse until desired texture is reached. Transfer to serving bowl; let stand 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature with toasted bread and vegetable dippers.
Makes 2 1/2 cups spread.