No lie, I think I make a Spanish Tortilla once a week. It’s beautifully simple requiring just a few ingredients, it’s quick to make, substantial enough for dinner and perfect reheated for breakfast. I love preparing a tortilla for last minute company with a lightly dressed arugula salad and a glass of Spanish table wine.
I find my guests love it to!
I wish I could take full credit for its genius, but this recipe was passed along to me by my temporary abuela, Delia. In 2009, I traveled to Spain and spent time living and studying in Santiago de Compostela. I arrived fresh faced and anxious on Delia’s doorstep and even though we could hardly understand one another, we developed an incredible friendship.
In Spain, a cook’s energy is often spent thinking and preparing for lunch, el almuerzo. Delia and I would walk to the market with a rolling grocery cart that resembled a suitcase and she would barter for fish, bread and some of the freshest foods I’d ever seen. She’d place them delicately into her cart, like they were children of her own, and lug it behind her as we panted uphill for about a mile to her flat (okay I was panting, Delia hardly broke a sweat).
I learned the art of simplicity in Delia’s kitchen. She would use one pairing knife for every task, the same bowl to soak the veggies as she would to wash my clothes (I’m not sure how sanitary it was, really) and only had one pot for everything else.
An incredibly petite woman, Delia could not have weighed more than 90 pounds, but she carried the weight of her family and took care of everyone around her, singing the entire way.
Once a week, her children and grandchildren would pile in the flat for lunch, the biggest meal of the day. Delia would make mussels, steam fish and drench everything in olive oil.
At night, just as I was about to go to bed, Delia would pull me into the kitchen for dinner. It might be midnight in Santiago, but it was dinnertime at Delia’s house. Dinners were always simple, and often consisted of this very Spanish Tortilla recipe with mixed greens tossed (or swimming) in olive oil.
Soon after I returned from Spain, I found myself making this dish any time I missed her or wanted to remember my time spent in the tiny town of Santiago de Compostela.
Isn’t it amazing how comforting food can be? I’ll never forget the way this tortilla melted in my mouth as I sat at the table in silence, savoring every bite, with my dear abuela.
SPANISH TORTILLA + ARUGULA SALAD
- 1 large or 2 medium potatoes (I like russets or yukon golds), thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
- 1 heaping handful cilantro, chopped
- 7 eggs
- 2 tb olive oil, more to dress salad
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
- balsamic glaze (optional)
1.) Thinly slice the potato and onion into rings. The thinner the better as it will cook faster and more evenly.
2.) Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once warm, add potatoes and onions into the skillet and toss to coat thoroughly with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes and onions are cooked through.
3.) While your potatoes and onions cook, combine eggs, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk and let sit.
4.) When potatoes are cooked through, use a wooden spoon to spread the potatoes and onions evenly throughout the pan. Next, pour the egg mixture overtop. Turn heat down to medium low and let cook for about 10 minutes or until egg is mostly cooked. While cooking, preheat your broiler to low.
5.) Once the tortilla is mostly cooked (just the top will be runny), place the skillet under the broiler for about 1 minute. Keep you eye on it and pull from oven as soon as the top is cooked and just barely beginning to brown.
6.) To serve, cut into wedges and plate.
7.) Optional: I like to sprinkle the top with a little Fleur de Sel or finishing salt and any leftover cilantro I have. Once plated, drizzle balsamic glaze over the tortilla. The sweet and savory combination is delish!
I like to serve with a simple arugula salad that I toss with olive oil and sea salt. The fresh bitter bite of the greens pairs so well with the savory potatoes and sweet balsamic - I’m literally drooling.