Piperrada side dish


Piperrada is one of the most popular side dishes in Basque cuisine. This side dish is made from vegetables such as red pepper, green pepper, and onion. The word “piperrada” comes from the Gascon Occitan language, where “pipèr” means chili pepper. This Basque Gascon accompaniment, equivalent to the well-known “pisto,” is primarily made with red pepper, green pepper, onion, tomato, and powdered Espelette pepper. This pepper variety is mainly grown in the town of Espelette, located in the Atlantic Pyrenees, and is known for its aromatic nature and milder spiciness compared to the pepper it replaces in Basque cuisine.

Piperrada is the perfect accompaniment for meats and fish, but if we want to prepare it as a main dish, we can add an egg at the end of cooking to let it set in its own sauce. With this side dish, we can create well-known recipes such as “bonito en piperrada” (white tuna in piperrada), breaded hake with piperrada, piperrada with eggs, or pork fillets with piperrada.

Here’s the step-by-step recipe for you to prepare at home:

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 small teaspoon of Espelette pepper powder (or paprika as a substitute)



The first thing to do is prepare the vegetables. Start by peeling 1 onion and slicing it into julienne strips; peel 3 garlic cloves and slice them. Set aside.

Also, peel 3 ripe tomatoes and grate them. Set aside for later use.

Thoroughly wash 1 red pepper and 2 green peppers, then roast them in a preheated oven at 160°C (320°F), with both top and bottom heat, for 45 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip them over to ensure even roasting. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or pot, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the julienned onion and sliced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté these ingredients over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Once the peppers are roasted, peel them, cut them into strips, and add them to the pot.

Sauté the mixture for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.

After this time, add the grated tomato, 1 small teaspoon of Espelette pepper powder, 1 pinch of salt, and cook over medium-low heat for another 30 minutes.

During cooking, taste for saltiness and adjust if necessary. Cover the pot to concentrate the heat, and once the cooking time is complete, your piperrada is ready to use.