Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recipe: Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)

Easy! Versatile! Can be served hot or cold. Can be an appetizer cut into small pieces, a sandwich filling, or enjoyed plain. Can go for hours without refrigeration. Perfect for Passover; pretty enough for any other holiday. This is my go-to dish for potlucks, and I bring it by request to all family events. Directions for both the traditional and modified (easier) methods are below. Both are equally delicious.

Servings: Flexible – ALWAYS keep the 2 eggs per potato ratio straight, and you can make as much as will fit in your pan.

Prep time: 30-45 minutes

1.Place potatoes and onions in skillet. Pour olive oil over them and toss to coat. Add more oil if necessary to ensure that they’re well-coated.
2.Sauté over medium-high heat until potatoes begin to brown. Add more oil as needed, but be sparing.
3.Meanwhile, beat the eggs together into a large bowl. Stir in salt to taste. If using green pepper or other add-ins, add to eggs.

Traditional Finish:
4.When potatoes are beginning to brown, remove from heat. Stir potato mixture into egg mixture. Mix until well combined.
5.Warm skillet over medium-high burner. Add a bit of oil if pan is dry.
6.Add mixture to pan. Run spatula around edges and under tortilla and slap pan against burner to avoid sticking.
7.When bottom part of tortilla starts to solidify and become slightly golden, here comes the only challenge:
8.Remove skillet from heat. Place plate over mouth of skillet, and turn entire tortilla out onto the plate.
9.Place skillet back on burner (add oil if necessary to avoid sticking), and slide tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side.
10.Again, run spatula around edges to avoid sticking. When bottom is browned and solid, turn tortilla out on a plate. Serve hot or cold.

Oven Finish:
4.When potatoes are beginning to brown, add egg mixture directly into pan and stir until just combined.
5.Run spatula around edges and under tortilla and slap pan against burner to avoid sticking.
6.When bottom of tortilla starts to solidify, transfer pan to preheated 400-degree oven.
7.Bake for 12-15 minutes or until center is solid. If necessary, finish by running under the broiler for a few minutes, but check often and be careful not to burn!


  1. I made two tortillas. The first one came out well, although it took a long time to do the potatoes. (I suppose that means my heat was too low?) The second one the eggs started burning underneath before the sides solidified at all. Could that be because my burner is an electric one which directs the heat to the bottom of the pan and not also around the sides?

  2. I certainly can't argue with the deliciousness and ease of this recipe, but I'm not sure I'd call this healthy or eco-friendly. Eggs really don't fall into those categories.

  3. Abby, thanks for reading. Please see my "Food Focus" on eggs. While they may not be as healthy as, say, broccoli, eggs can be a part of a healthy diet, and an important source of protein for non-vegans who wish to cut down on their consumption of meat.

  4. Michael, the potatoes DO take a long time. I like to embrace this and use the time to get the eggs ready! With electric burners -- or if the eggs are burning generally -- you may need to add more oil to the pan before adding the egg/potato mixture back into the skillet. Good luck!