I don’t remember how bell peppers came into my life. Growing up, I ate enough vegetables to make my mother happy, but not a great variety, and I certainly never ate them raw. I stuck to a rotation of peas, corn, broccoli and cauliflower… and I think that’s it. I believe my mother felt lucky that her child would even eat broccoli – if it had cheese on it that was a plus, but not required – so she didn’t push anything else.
As I progressed through my teenage years, I began to try new things – mostly to impress my friends – nothing at all adventurous, but things I hadn’t regularly eaten. Bell peppers appeared at some point in this process. Maybe it was via fajitas. And then in college, my manager at the supermarket deli invited me to dinner and put raw ones in the salad and my life was forever changed.
Piperade is a Basque dish, made with pimente d’Esplette, a popular spice made from a pepper grown in the region. There can also be tomatoes, sometimes ham, sometimes green peppers. Seems like you can kinda use what’s in the cupboard, just letting the basic idea guide you. But for this dish, I took inspiration from Jody Williams’ Buvette cookbook, which calls for chorizo to spice it up, and leaves out the tomatoes. And I doubled the amount of bell peppers that she called for.
Make this for a quick, week-night meal or brunch for a crowd.
Related recipes: Brunch loves cocktails. How about Strawberry-Basil Prosecco Punch?
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz fresh chorizo
Olive oil (for the pan)
Kosher salt and pepper (to taste)
Coat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add chorizo and cook until it begins to brown and get crispy, 5-10 minutes.
Add garlic, peppers and onions and cook until vegetables soften and begin to brown at the edges, about 15-20 minutes. Add a bit of salt to taste.
Add eggs to skillet, nestling them in with the peppers and sausage.
Heat the broiler and place skillet underneath until eggs until they are just past sunny-side up. Be sure to watch the skillet during this process as the broiler can cook things very quickly.
If you prefer, you can instead put these in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees until eggs are baked and just set. I like the broiler method because it doesn’t heat the house and the cooking goes faster.
Remove skillet from the oven and season eggs with a bit of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
Serve with toasted French bread and a fresh, green salad.