Recipe of the Month: Basque Piperade with Poached Eggs

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As the weather gets colder and the nights longer, it’s time to turn toward your comfort food repertoire to keep the fall chill at bay. We suggest the piperade, a hearty and versatile dish from the Basque region of Europe. Serve it at an indoor brunch as an appetizer or as a weeknight meal for two on cold nights. Our version is topped with soft poached eggs but the dish also pairs well with quince jelly, slivers of prosciutto or as a side with baked ham. Enjoy with a glass of cider and a serving of crisp French bread for the traditional Basque cuisine experience.

Serves: two
Preparation time: thirty minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced
1 Vidalia onion thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground Espelette pepper (can substitute with equal parts sweet paprika and cayenne powder)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 8-ounce jar of sliced red peppers, drained
1 green pepper, sliced (optional)
3-4 eggs
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in cast-iron skillet on medium high heat.
When the oil appears to shimmer, add the spices and heat for thirty seconds or until the fragrance blooms. Add the sliced onions, shallots, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add the heirloom tomato slices and peppers to the skillet and stir. For a more soup like consistency, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor or with an immersion blender before adding to the skillet. Place the cherry tomatoes evenly throughout the pan. Bring the skillet to a simmer and cover for five minutes.
Crack 3-4 eggs on top of the piperade and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your preference.
Garnish with cracked pepper and salt to taste.

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