Espelette is a sweet red pepper grown in Basque country, near to where I live.
It is similar to cayenne but without the heat and is almost always sold dried and crushed.
The colour is vibrant and the flavour is quite unlike what one would imagine from a chilli. It offers dishes a savoury depth that is neither capsicum-like or chilli-like; rather difficult to describe.
My personal opinion is that on it’s own the flavors of Espelette are muted but by accompanying other ingredients it makes the whole dish shine.
A substitute, or close companion is Paprika, so if you can’t find Espelette (I have included a link to the side of this page) you can use either the smoked or sweet versions of Paprika depending on your preference.
Food from the region where I live in France is simple and not over thought.
The preference is to allow ingredient flavors to stand-alone and speak for themselves in a dish rather than become lost in an over complicated recipe.
I serve this dish 2 ways: either with a simple creamy mushroom sauce or with a Dijon mustard sauce.
For the reason I just noted, I never mix the two. I tried once and it just seemed over done.
Simple is Best in this case.
So, this is another quick and easy dish with simple in mind.
I would serve this with grilled tomato halves sprinkled with a spot of garlic and olive oil and some home made French fries. Perfect!
On a side note, if you ever get a chance to go to Espelette in Pays Basque it’s a great place to visit.
They sell THE best Gateau Basque there as well as many different Espelette derived products.