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Piperade with ham

The famous pepper, garlic and tomato stew, served with eggs and ham. Take care never to call it French. It is one of the most emblematic Basque dishes, slow cooked and rustic; sweet, hearty and piquant. Purists banish red or multi-coloured peppers and insist on only green, ideally the little green ‘piments’ popular in the Basque country.


  • 2 red peppers (or three long sweet red peppers)

  • 2 green peppers

  • 4 ripe tomatoes

  • Olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • Pimemt d’Espelette or a small red chilli if you didn’t have the real thing

  • 6 medium eggs beaten

  • 4 slices of jambon de Bayonne or Spanish ham

  • Salt and pepper


  • 1.

    De-seed the peppers and cut them into long strips. Skin, quarter and de-seed the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook the peppers and the garlic for 3 to 4 minutes, on a low heat to soften them. Add the tomatoes, the piment and a little water, and let the whole thing simmer gently and reduce for about twenty minutes. Season with salt and pepper (not too much salt as the ham will be salty).

  • 2.

    In a separate saucepan, on a medium heat, cook the eggs, stirring from time to time with a wooden spoon until they are lightly scrambled.

  • 3.

    Grill or fry the ham and serve with the eggs and vegetables on a large platter for everyone to help them-selves.

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