The Observer - - LIFE | TASTE -

PIPER­ADE is a clas­sic Basque dish of capsicums, toma­toes and onions.


WOOD TYPE: olive HEAT: in­tense em­bers, medium em­bers


2 long, thin green capsicums 2 long, thin red bull’s horn capsicums

Sea salt

2 onions, halved

6 ripe toma­toes, halved 80ml (⅓ cup) ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

1 gar­lic clove, minced

1 thyme sprig

½ tsp es­pelette pepper

4 eggs, at room tem­per­a­ture ¼ bunch flat-leaf (Ital­ian) pars­ley, torn


Pre­pare your in­tense em­bers and ar­range a grill ap­prox­i­mately 10cm above the em­bers.

Pre­pare the capsicums. Grill the green and red capsicums whole, turn­ing fre­quently un­til black­ened all over. Trans­fer to a bowl or tray, cover with a lid or cloth and al­low to steam for 10 minutes. When cool enough to han­dle, care­fully peel and re­move the seeds from the capsicums and dis­card. Sea­son the flesh of the capsicums and cut into strips. Place in a bowl.

Grill the onions and the toma­toes for 10–15 minutes un­til ten­der, lightly charred and caramelised. Re­move from the grill and roughly chop the onions and the toma­toes be­fore com­bin­ing with the cap­sicum strips.

Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron pan and fry the gar­lic for 1 minute un­til fra­grant. Add the onions, toma­toes, capsicums, thyme sprig and es­pelette pepper and cook for 20–30 minutes un­til soft. Sea­son well with sea salt.

Break the eggs, one at a time, di­rectly into the pan and en­sure they are evenly spaced. Cook over medium em­bers for 10–12 minutes, un­til the eggs are just be­gin­ning to set on top.

Di­vide the piper­ade be­tween serv­ing bowls. Fin­ish with torn fresh pars­ley and serve im­me­di­ately.

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