Spain is underrated. Spanish food is even more underrated than Spain itself. The Land of Cervantes is similar to Italy as far as culinary ethos goes. Simple, high quality ingredients are key for simple, delicious recipes. It’s a wonderful ethos to live by and makes cooking and home entertaining a breeze.
Meet the Basque Piparra. This long, slender pepper looks very similar to a green beans and is native to the Basque region of Spain. It’s traditionally quite sweet and unassuming when fresh, but these little peppers are almost always preserved in an acidic brine and stored away to use for tapas and pintxos year round. You’ll see these most often in a pintxo called a Gilda, a toothpick speared through an olive, a Basque piparra, and a white anchovy (aka boquerones), then sometimes repeated on the same toothpick. It’s a briny, salty snack that does exactly what every bartender wants… for you to keep drinking. I love serving these at parties. Minimal effort and no heat application are the way to go when you’re expecting company, nothing can really go wrong.
Want to enjoy your Basque Piparras in more than one way? Their acidic, briny flavor is the perfect matched for smoked fish dishes and tinned seafood. Try dicing them up and mixing into an aioli for sandwiches or spearing into your next Bloody Mary. They’re even mild enough to adorn your next cheese board. The only danger of popping open an jar is closing it up again after your first pepper. This little taste of the Basque region is quite addictive, you’ll be ready for a siesta in no time.