Tomato season is here! And this recipe is a wonderfully simple way to make pantry staples shine. While all spices are special, Piment d'Espelette has the terroir of Basque country. This rare chile is only grown and cultivated in the Espelette commune in France's Nive Valley. Espelette pepper is similar to a red hatch chile and is traditionally used for fish stews or as a black pepper substitute in dishes. We took sliced ciabatta and smothered the toast in grated heirloom tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil to make a perfect bite. Finish it off with a sprinkle of sel de mer and Piment d'Espelette for a pop of flavor.
Piment d'Espelette is one of the appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) products which France certifies as having the true terroir of the region. This spice is as genuine as champagne from the Champagne region of France or Roquefort from Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. It doesn't get more time-honoured than this!