French,  Savoury

Basque Piperade and a disoriented white hen

When is an a tomato not a tomato? Answer: when it’s an egg…
The white hen has taken to laying her eggs amongst our tomato plants. I only realised the other day when I spotted several egg-coloured tomatoes.  As hens tend to lay where there are, or have been, other eggs, I wondered whether she thought that the pepper tomatoes were green eggs. Which begs the question: are hens colour blind or just a few French fries short of a Happy Meal? Answers on a postcard please!
Of course the other explantion is that she’s a Basque hen gagging for some Piperade, no doubt one of the most renown Basque dishes.
Ingredients (serves four)
6 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g sliced Bayonne ham
3 cloves of garlic
2 onions
Chopped parsley, thyme, bay leaf
2 red bell peppers cut into strips
2 green bell peppers
2 teaspoons Espelette pepper (if you don’t have this, Paprika, chilli powder or Cayenne will do)
4 eggs
Blanche and skin the tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium frying pan and cook the ham until golden brown (about 7 minutes). Set aside. Cook the garlic and onion in two tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown. Add the herbs and peppers, Espelette pepper and seasalt to taste. Cover and leave to cook until the peppers soften (about 10 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and browned ham and cook until the mixtures melds and juices slightly thicken. Beat the eggs and add over the heat to the tomato/pepper mixture, stirring until cooked. Serve immediately!


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