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The Other Tortilla

Tortilla española with sauteed brocollini and tomatoes.

Tortilla española with sauteed brocollini and tomatoes.

With one kind of tortilla, you can make chilaquiles or huevos a la mexicana. But there’s a different sort of eggs and tortilla altogether. The tortilla española is Spain’s version of the French omelet or the Italian fritatta.

Preparing the tortilla.  I used some shallots instead of onion.

Preparing the tortilla. I used some shallots instead of onion.

The traditional tortilla has potatoes and onions, but you can add just about anything you have on hand, like any other omelet. In Spain, wedges of a large tortilla are served as tapas, usually at room temperature. In other words, if you have any extra, it makes great leftovers. I’ve scaled this recipe back to make an easy dinner for two, but you can make a bigger version.

Tortilla Española
– serves 2 –

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (roughly 3/4 lb)
1/2 medium onion
3 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs

Peel the potatoes, then quarter length-wise and slice about 1/8″ thick. Thinly slice the onions.

In a small bowl, stir the potatoes, onions, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt until the potatoes and onions are thoroughly coated with the oil and none of the pieces of potato are sticking together.

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potato-onion mixture, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir the potatoes ever 5 minutes or so. It will take about 20 minutes to cook through.

Crack the eggs into bowl you used for the potatoes and onions. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and whisk lightly. You don’t need to whip any air in or completely combine the whites and yolks.

When the potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the eggs and toss to combine. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. You can also use spray oil if you want to use a little bit less oil, but it’s important to coat the skillet evenly. Add the potato-egg mixture to the skillet and shake the pan for 10-15 seconds to even everything out. Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan every 30 seconds or so.

Now it’s time to flip the tortilla. Run a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen the tortilla from the skillet. Place a large plate upside down over the skillet. Carefully turn the whole thing over, so the tortilla comes out onto the plate. Gently slide the tortilla back into the skillet. You can smooth out any rough edges with the spatula. The top should be lightly browned, at most. Traditionally, it’s not browned at all, but I prefer a little bit of color.

Cook for another minute or two to set the other side. Use the spatula to loosen the tortilla again, then slide it out onto a plate. Serve hot out of the skillet, at room temperature, or cold.


    1. Jenn says:

      Dan, I LOVE tortilla espanola. You can also parboil the potatoes if you want to try and use less oil. You can use the cold leftovers as a sandwich — just put in a roll for a carbo-load meal. Mmm.

    2. Moira says:

      Made this for dinner last night (I added some chopped bacon). Served with roasted veggies and cold sherry – thanks for the inspiration!

    3. dan says:

      Tortilla and a glass of sherry sounds great, Moira. Glad you liked!

      p.s. — Jenn, agreed that tortilla sandwiches are great, especially on a baguette.

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