(recipe, Simon Hopkinson)
Sometimes called piperade basquaise, as it comes from the Basque region of southern France on the Spanish border, this is essentially a dish of savory scrambled eggs. Although cooks pontificate about what is the definitive recipe, what is important is that a dish like this should reflect two things: the region, and what is available at the time. Obviously, one can't do without the eggs — and the better the eggs, the better the dish — but the other ingredients should be allowed the odd substitution or even be left out. After all, this is a simple affair and not something that requires precise detail.
- 8 super-thin slices of bacon
- Olive oil, for frying
- 2 slices of white bread, cut into tiny cubes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped, or a small bunch of chives, finely chopped
- 8 eggs, beaten
- Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Grill or fry the bacon until done to a crisp. Drain and cool.
- Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the bread cubes until golden. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate pan and briefly fry the garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes. Add the onions or chives and eggs at the same time and cook gently, as for scrambled eggs. Stir in the croutons and the parsley or cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on individual plates; garnish each serving with two slices of bacon crisscrossed on top.