Richard Collins, MD
The Cooking Cardiologist®
Piperade has its origin from the Basque region of France. The basics of the dish include red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. There are a number of variations including adding other varieties of vegetables and proteins. This recipe is the better of two worlds…Spain and France. This is not a surprise as the flavoring ingredient is the chili pepper from Espelette on the border of France and Spain. The Piment d’Espelette is not hot, but medium on the intensity scale.
For the Piperade:
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 15-ounce jar of Mezzetta roasted red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 Onion thinly sliced
- 2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
- 6 Large ripe tomatoes, par boiled skins removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 t Sugar
- 1 T Piment d’Espelette plus more for garnish (available from Savory©, Littleton, CO)
- 1 Bay leaf
- Sea salt to preference
- ½ t fresh ground white pepper
In a large sauté pan, add the oil, bell peppers, onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add tomatoes, sugar, piment d’Espelette and bay leaf to pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat, simmer and cover for 25-30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Remove from heat and cool. Can be stored one day ahead in the refrigerator, tightly sealed up to one week.
Eggs Piperade is almost similar to cazuela (ka’swela), a Chilean dish. The base is tomatoes and red peppers, just like piperade. However, I gave it flair by cooking this dish in a small iron skillet and replacing the ingredients with heart healthier options leaving out the yolks in the eggs.
- 1 T olive oil just to coat the insides of 4 small iron skillets
Polenta prepared to package directions for servings of two, cooled and firmed or substitute prepackaged polenta in tubes
- Piperade, 4 cups
- 8 eggs, egg whites only
- ¼ cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil for garnish
Prepare Polenta according to package directions, cool and firm. Preheat oven to 3500F. Place 4 small iron skillets in the oven to preheat. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes. Remember the handles will be HOT. Place the piperade into the iron skillets filling to 1 inch from rim. Add 2 egg whites to each dish. Top with polenta formed into a scooped out half ball shape. The egg should look like a sunny side up egg with the polenta in the center. Place skillets back in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until egg whites are cooked. Remove and garnish with feta cheese and basil.
Serves 4. Serving size: One iron skillet with egg whites and Polenta center.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 270, Total Fat: 13 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 445 mg, Carbohydrate: 25 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 12 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 ½ Starch, 1 ½ Protein, 2 Fat