He Who Pays The Piper(rada)

It just wouldn’t do to let Easter weekend pass without an article involving eggs. This dish makes for a useful brunch, lunch or evening supper. Usually we share it with friends, but this year, sadly, that ain’t gonna habben.

So….. First some historical background. Piperrada is a typical Basque dish prepared with onion and garlic, Serrano ham and tomatoes, sautéed and flavoured with red Espelette peppers. It has all the vibrant flavours of northern Spain. The colours coincidentally reflect the colours of the Basque flag. End of touristic promo….

Like Ratatouille, Pipérade defies categorization. Is it a side dish? A relish? A sauce? An appetizer? A tapas dish? To me, you make it how you want, but essentially it’s a dish of savoury scrambled eggs. Eating outside the home, it is very often served as a tapa on a slice of baguette. In our version, we normally use pequillo peppers or red pimentos that have been roasted and skinned, & eggs* (obvs) – but the other ingredients should be allowed the odd substitution or even be left out. After all, this is a simple dish and not something that requires attention to detail. This type of dish was one of my Mother’s standbys but her version (which was of the mindset of postwar rationing) included cheddar cheese and tomatoes, – no peppers.

* The fresher the eggs the better the dish….

Serves 4

2 Red peppers or 2 tinned Piquillo peppers (drained)
6 Tbsp olive oil
4 Garlic cloves
1 Onion – small (shredded)
75g Serrano ham, (cut in strips)
350g Tomatoes (peeled and diced)
8 Eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Roast the peppers under the grill until charred. Wrap them in a cloth until cool enough to handle, then peel them. Discard the seeds and stem, then cut the peppers into strips. If you are using tinned pimientos, simply cut them into strips. Heat half the oil in a frying pan and sautée the garlic and onion. Add the strips of ham, then the tomatoes and peppers. Fry for about 15 minutes until some of the liquid has evaporated. Turn into a bowl and set aside.

Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and pour in the eggs. Stir them, cooking very gently, then add the pepper mixture. Cook without stirring until the eggs are set. Serve promptly with a little torn parsley to taste.

Top tip: If you burn the toast, make sure to clip off the cremated edges before taking a picture of the finished product…………

DJM, Going Postal
Scrambled eggs on toast.
© DJM, Going Postal 2021


© DJM 2021

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