A dish from the Basque-region Alps, this piperade salad is best served with a dash of sherry vinegar. This recipe is from Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young's book Campfire Cookery: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011). *Should a pilgrimage to the south of France be in one's future, one will certainly encounter piment d'Espelette. Bundles of the drying pepper adorn every sunny terrace there, like bunting. If one cannot find it, a good sprinkling of paprika or cracked black pepper will suffice; we often use a mix of the two when our piment d'Espelette supplies run low.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
- 3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly milled black pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch scallions, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 tsp. sherry vinegar, plus additional to taste
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> tsp. piment d'Espelette *
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- Prepare a high-heat fire, with the flames licking the grill grate. Let it burn steadily for 30 minutes.
- Brush the peppers with olive oil. Place the peppers directly upon the grill grate, turning them occasionally with tongs, until the skin is evenly charred and blistered, 7 to 10 minutes. Use the tongs to transfer the peppers to a bowl and let them rest, covered, until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
- Slide the charred skin off the peppers and remove the seeds. Slice the peppers into¼-inch-thick strips and place in a bowl.
- Brush the tomatoes with olive oil andseason with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes directly upon the grill grate and cook, turning once, until they are evenly charred and slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a resting place to cool, then chop them into bite-size pieces. Add the tomatoes to the peppers, tossing gently to combine.
- Brush the scallions with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place them directly upon the grill grate and cook, turning occasionally, until they are evenly charred and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the scallions to a resting place to cool, then give them a rough chop. Add the scallions to the tomatoes and peppers and toss gently to combine.
- Drizzle in 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, the sherry vinegar, piment d'Espelette, and basil. Toss to combine, and serve.
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