There are foods that Americans just automatically associate with other foods: peanut butter...jelly, bagels...cream cheese, french fries... ketchup. Now as an Italian-American when I hear peppers, I think sausage.
When I looked at this recipe for Piperade I thought, "It's basically fried peppers without the sausage...dull."
I stuck to the recipe, and I was surprised that coating peppers with red wine vinegar and sautéing them until they caramelized would truly heighten the flavor of the peppers.
You don't cook the red onions or the garlic that is in this dish, instead you slice the onion thinly, I used a mandolin, and you mince the garlic... tossing this together with the the cooked peppers and a dash of pimento d'Espelette or habanero chile... the result was bright and tasty. It definitely was more Spanish than either French or Italian in taste. The raw red onions were actually sweet, and a nice contrast to the vinegar peppers. The bit of heat rounded out the flavors very well.
Traditional Piperade has ham, tomatoes and sometimes eggs in it. It is more often served as a starter with toast. This Piperade is more of a condiment or a side dish. I served it with sausage and bread and then later over rigatoni pasta.
This recipe would be excellent as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish, and I can even see it as a great topping for burgers. I would highly recommend adding this recipe to your summer meals. It goes with all grilled foods, and it is perfect for picnics because it can be served at room temperature.
Here is a recipe for a traditional Piperade, but as always, I recommend you try Dorie Greenspan's recipe from "Around my French Table."
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.