Napoléon de yams et choux de Bruxelles, herbes et confiture de poivrons

Last time I was at my parents’ in France a few weeks ago, I saw this empty jar of a delicious red bell pepper jam I bought during a vacation in Seville. That certainly did bring up some beautiful memories. I remembered buying it in an open market, as being a local specialty, and served with sheep cheeses. Then I decided to read about it and do a little research on this particular jam and it seems like it’s consumed in the Pays Basque as well where they say it’s a Basque specialty. So obviously it originated in that area, as to who created it, France or Spain, I think we’ll never know.

Back in California, a few weeks later, I went to this wonderful restaurant in Healdsburg called Chalk Board (if you ever go in that area, you need to try it) and to my astonishment, my delicious grilled zucchini dish was served with red bell pepper jam! what a strange coincidence! As soon as I came home I went to buy red bell peppers and I made jam. I had no choice, this was a sign…

So the highlight of this dish and the main purpose of this dish is the red bell pepper jam, not the yams and nor the Brussels sprouts. Maybe I should just have made a post with the jam only, but then you need an example on how to eat it. Actually, this red bell pepper jam is often served with sheep cheeses, but also with grilled meats and fish. Here it goes perfectly well with this vegetable combination.

The jam I bought in Seville was more liquid, so for the next batch, I will just cook it less. This was a thick jam, so depending on your preferences, you might want to play with the cooking time. Its flavor is amazing, sweet, flavorful and spicy. It truly enhances many dishes and if you want to eat it like in Spain, try it with any hard sheep cheese like manchego, it’s magic.

Ingredients for 2-3

For the Napoleon

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 large yams, peeled and cut 1/2 inch thick slices across
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 3 tbs white wine
  • salt and pepper

For the herb dressing

  • 1.5 tbs mixed herbs (scallions, chives, basil, etc)
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • salt

For the red bell pepper jam

  • 600 g red bell peppers, peeled and seeds removed and cut in small strips
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Piment d’Espelette


For the napoleon

Place yams in a non stick tray. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and broil on both sides until cooked.

Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, stir until fragrant then add Brussels sprouts and wine. Cover and let cook at medium heat until wilted and wine evaporated. Adjust with salt and pepper.

For the herb dressing

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the belle pepper jam

Place peppers in a pot along with the sugar. Let it cook at medium temperature until soft and the texture has thickened. Add lemon juice and let it cook a bit more. Add piment d’Espelette at the end and cook for another 5-10 minutes. At this point, the texture is syrupy and thicker, more like a coulis.

Using a rind, mount the napoleon. Place a slice of yam at the bottom of the plate, then add Brussels sprouts, then a tsp of herb dressing. Continue the process to a second layer. Serve with some red pepper jam and herb dressing.