Piperade is a spicy pepper tomato sauce used as a stewing ingredient or garnish to finish a dish. This recipe is from the Basque Region of France. I used it to make Ratatouille last night and it does add a distinctive and savory flavor to the vegetables. I would easily make this sauce again to season chicken parmesan or to toss in a pasta. Too bad I do not have any more “angry” peppers in the garden to make this for my brother and sister-in-law. If you love spicy peppers, then you really should try this sauce.
I made one Rataouille following the French Laundry interpretation of the classic dish and another with some piperade and a lot of olive oil to tone down the kick hoping the kids would eat it. They still commented on the spice and did not eat as much as I wanted. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the leftovers. It may be even better with the flavors melding overnight.
This sauce is usually served when peppers and tomatoes are in season. I am sure it tastes much better during the summer and will be easier to find the right ingredients. I substituted a yellow onion for the Spanish onion, Poblano peppers for the Anaheim, and chopped an organic tomato instead of buying a petite-diced can. It still worked very well and is a comforting sauce to serve during the winter.
In the movie Ratatouille, the sauce is creamy so I pureed the piperade in the blender. I highly recommend it especially if you have kids. They will not see all the vegetables in the sauce. It has a silky texture and tastes very gourmet.
1) Chop the 2 cloves are garlic, 1 large onion, and seed and chop all the peppers. Finely chop the spicy Poblano or Anaheim peppers if you do not puree it a the end. Dice the tomato.
2) Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and add the garlic, onion and peppers. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, and sugar. Mix and cook until the vegetables are soft for about 10 minutes.
3) Stir in the tomatoes and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
4) Let cool. Puree the piperade in a blender if you want a creamy sauce.
This piperade was used to season the zucchini and squash slices below for the Confit Byaldi (a fancy way to say ratatouille). I will post it soon. Enjoy!