Piperade is a typical Basque dish containing green capsicum, tomatoes and onion sautéed and flavoured with espelette pepper - a fiery red chilli pepper cultivated in Espelette, a Basque territory.
- 500 g vongole or strawberry clams
- 4 swordfish steaks, about 200 g each, skin removed
- sea salt, to serve
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives, to serve
- drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 kg red capsicums, roasted, peeled and thinly sliced (see note)
- 1 tsp piment d'Espelette, plus a pinch extra, to serve
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine
- 2 tbsp chardonnay vinegar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Wine pairing: Penfolds Bin 23 Pinot Noir, Multi-Region
1. For the sauce Piperade, heat a good drizzle of oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly until golden. Add the garlic and roasted red capsicum and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the piment d'Espelette and smoked paprika, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the wine and chardonnay vinegar and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the clams. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or just until the clams open.
2. Meanwhile, preheat a char-grill to medium-high. Season the swordfish steaks on both sides with salt, then cook for 1 ½ minutes on each side until medium-rare, depending on thickness. Remove from the heat and rest for 1 minute. Place the fish in middle of each shallow serving bowl and spoon the sauce piperade and clams around the outside. Garnish with chives and a pinch of piment d'espelette.
• To cook the capsicum, place on a chargrill or on the open flame on a stove and cook until blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover and stand until cool enough to handle. Peel off and discard the blackened skin and any seeds.
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