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The piperade of the Basque Country

The piperade of the Basque Country


Here is the recipe for piperade, a typical dish from the Basque country, which can be eaten with meat, such as chicken or lamb, or fish, such as tuna. It can also be eaten with scrambled eggs and Bayonne ham. Bayonne ham is also a speciality of the Basque Country, it is cured and dried raw pork ham that is eaten in very thin slices.

Ingredients (serves 4)

- 4 tomatoes
- 4 green peppers
- 4 onions
- 2 sweet peppers
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper
- Espelette pepper powder

What is "le piment d'Espelette" ? 


The Espelette pepper is a pepper specifically grown in the Basque Country. To turn it into a chilli powder, it is left to dry in the sun. It is not a hot pepper, indeed it’s not stronger than black pepper, but it has a very developed perfume. If this chilli is used in a lot of salty dishes of the Basque Country, it is also used in chocolate or caramel!

Instructions

 Peel the tomatoes and peppers. To do this, boil the tomatoes, and bake the peppers. In order to bake the peppers, put them on a baking sheet with a dash of olive oil and let them cook in the oven at approximately 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Peel the tomatoes and dice them. Peel the peppers and cut them into strips. Make a sauté of the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the peppers, mix and cook for 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Stir, season with salt and pepper and add the Espelette pepper. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.

Wine

Since piperade is a dish that is eaten from March to October, when the weather is very pleasant in the Basque Country, it is advisable to accompany this dish with fresh wines such as Irouléguy rosé. This type of wine is the only one produced in the Basque Country. The rosé has notes of red fruits and citrus with a floral side. Its best vintages are the years 2000 and 2005.