Pipérade or Pipérada is a traditional French dish originating in the Basque region of the nation wherein the main ingredients include onions, tomatoes, green peppers and Espelette pepper. Some of the popular additions to the pipérade include eggs, ham and garlic. While the pipérade recipe may recommend using eggs the dish does not resemble an omelet. It can be described as an array of freshly sautéed vegetables with eggs stirred in to enliven the taste. 


History Of The Pipérade Recipe

The French Basque dish of pipérade can be traced back to the early 1800s where the word was used to describe ground pepper prepared by crushing peppercorns. The term was later on used to depict the pipérade dish made by beating eggs into tomatoes and bell peppers. The people of Provence used a lot of garlic in their version of the Pipérade recipe while the other Mediterranean regions traditionally limited their usage to onions, tomatoes and peppers for the dish.


Ingredients And Popular Pipérade Recipe

  • While the pipérade is considered to be a flexible dish with its ingredients varying widely, there are two prominent ingredients that are considered to be the basis of the dish.
  • Jambon de Bayonne : Thinly sliced pieces of ham which are cured with salt. They are added to the dish just before the eggs are beaten in.
  • Piment d'Espelette : The production of this variety of pepper is limited to the village of Espelette and its surrounding areas.
  • The preparation of the pipérade varies widely as well. While some chefs prefer to cook the tomatoes in their own juices for about 40minutes to an hour, others drain out the juices and cook the vegetables rapidly for ten minutes or so before adding the beaten eggs to it.
  • Olive oil or canola oil is the usual medium for sautéing the vegetables in order to prepare pipérade.


The pipérade is usually eaten during the hot summer months when both tomatoes and the green peppers are available in abundance. It can be the main dish as well as one of the side dishes served at during a main meal.


Nutritional Facts Of Pipérade

The pipérade is not particularly high in calories. However, the amount of proteins as well as cholesterol is considerably high in the dish, courtesy the eggs that are beaten into it. The fresh vegetables add a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals which include a good amount of calcium and potassium as well. The dish is exceedingly rich in Vitamin C and contains a substantial amount of Vitamin A and E along with a number of Vitamin B varieties.


Pipérade: Trivia

• Pipérade is the name of a famous San Francisco restaurant specializing in rustic Basque cuisine.
• The green, red and white colors of the dish depict the national colors of the Basque region. 
• The Larousse Gastronomique mentions the dish as one of the most important dishes belonging to the Basque region of France.
• The dish is often erroneously called “Spanish omelet.”