Weekend cooking – Basque classic, piperade (video)

There are different ways to prepare a piperade and in this case, it’s done by a celebrated chef. I’ve yet to try this version but it’s on my list. It’s not complicated at all and it doesn’t take all day to turn it out either, which is nice.

Basque cooking is widely considered to be excellent and the people of this small region that sits partially in France and partially in Spain are very proud of their cuisine and heritage. If you haven’t already read The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky, it’s wonderful. Then again, every book of his that I’ve read has been great and impossible to put down.

Anyway, here’s one version of piperade and it uses scrambled eggs.

The version that I first learned years ago via my cousin’s wife poaches eggs, instead of scrambling them. It’s delicious and the thought of breaking an egg yolk into the mix makes me want to round up a batch right now.

So in Caroline’s piperade, she starts with a hot pan and cooks some bacon in it. (Not the smokey kind.) All of the veggies – tomatoes, peppers and onions – are all cut into similar sized chunks. After the bacon cooks down a bit, remove it and set aside for later. Then she adds olive oil, then adds in the onions and cooks them until they’re clear. Then she adds in the peppers (she doesn’t skin them, it takes too long) and cooks them, then she adds in the tomatoes.

Let that cook down though the tomatoes will leave it with enough liquid, much more so than in the video above. Let it simmer for maybe 15 minutes and crack whole eggs and rest them on the top of the liquid. Add a lid so they cook. For me, it’s best when the yolk is runny so don’t let them cook too long.

Serve in a dish and add pieces of bacon back onto the serving. I’ve seen others use chorizo instead of bacon and that too is very good. It’s best when tomatoes are in season, as you might imagine.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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