Piperade, mozzarella and pesto: Ikurriña on a plate

Piperade is a Basque stew of red peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It is traditionally served with eggs – a dish akin to shakshouka, or fish, or ham. I first sampled this dish in one of my favourite eateries in London – ‘The Eagle‘ in Farringdon where they serve globetrotting dishes from well sourced ingredients – chefs after my own heart. Either by design or luck, this red, white, and green dish happens to be In keeping with the colours of both the Italian flag and the Ikurriña (the Basque flag).

serves 2

for the piperade

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 red peppers
7 ripe plum tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons of Pimenton dulce (Paprika)
1 bay leaf
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthways, then toss them and the peppers in olive oil. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes – removing the tomatoes beforehand if necessary.
  3. Remove from the oven and tip into a large heatproof bowl, cover with film and leave to cool – this will make skins easy to peel off.
  4. once cool, remove the skins and julienne the peppers.
  5. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil before adding the onion and the garlic.
  6. After cooking for 2 minutes over a medium heat, add the peppers and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pimenton and let it cook for a minute.Then, incorporate the tomatoes and pop in the bay leaf.
  8. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down. Season to taste.
  9. Remove from the heat.


for the pesto

a bunch of Basil, leaves picked – about 50grams
about 50grams of Parmesan – if you have it, substitute 20grams for Pecorino
a handful of pine nuts or walnuts
75ml olive oil
a pinch of sea salt


  1. In a food processor, blitz the ingredients to a rough paste.
  2. Season to taste.
  3. Remove to a sterilized jar or Tupperware and cover with olive oil. This will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.


to serve

125g mozzarella ball
toasted sourdough slices
garlic clove

  1. After toasting your bread, rub liberally with a garlic clove and drizzle over a little olive oil.
  2. Spoon over the piperade, then top with half the mozzarella ball and finish with a generous spoonful of pesto.
  3. Enjoy.


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