Spanish Tortilla Omelette

on May 18, 2014 in Dairy Free, Favourite Recipes, Starters/Snacks/Canapes, Vegetarian


My lunch today was a Spanish Tortilla. Ahh the memories!

This is the food that stirs up memories for me of trying to go to sleep at night when I lived in Madrid. We slept with windows open in our apartment because of the heat and every night around 10:00 p.m. the Spaniards would begin cooking their late night suppers. Being American our family ate earlier and I was in bed at 10pm on school nights. Anyway the smell of the olive oil and the onions frying wafted up to my window and made me hungry and kept me awake. It is one of the cheapest and tastiest dishes around.

I also remember tortilla being used as tapas, with a square of tortilla on top of a small piece of bread goes down well with a tinto. It was also a favourite for families to take to prisoners on visiting day. They would make a large tortilla sandwich with a large loaf of pan (Spanish bread).A real comfort food, in my book and best served at room temperature or possibly warm but not hot.

The tortilla above is one I made with left over mashed potatoes, one small onion and 3 large eggs. If using pre-cooked potato omit frying them in oil. Just mix them together with the egg and the softened onion then pour all into the frying pan. They need to be warm or at least room temperature, not straight from the fridge. If in a hurry you can always cook your potatoes in the microwave first.

Here is my recipe for a Spanish Tortilla.

These ingredients will make 8 to 10 servings:

MEDIUM POTATOES 6 – 7 peeled and thinly sliced

Slice by hand as machines make them too thin and they stick together

YELLOW ONION 1 roughly chopped


OLIVE OIL 2-3 cups

I like a good strong flavoured Extra Virgin Oil because it is the oil that makes this dish.

SALT  3 t. or to taste.


HEAT Olive oil on a gentle heat. The oil should almost cover the potatoes

FRY potatoes, onion and garlic until soft.

ADD plenty of salt. The potatoes need salt and eggs need salt

Watch that heat, keep it medium to low or they will cook too fast and not be soft inside.

REMOVE  potatoes and onion from the pan with a slotted spoon when done and drain in a colander with a plate beneath it.

BREAK the eggs into a large bowl and mix with a fork or whisk.

PUSH potato and onion mixture into the bowl of eggs and mix together gently.

There are other ways of incorporating the eggs like pouring into the frying pan on top of the potatoes but this is probably the easiest way, if you haven’t made one before,  insuring the eggs cover every piece of potato.

POUR 1-2 T Olive Oil into a smallish non-stick frying pan (9-10inches) with the heat on medium.

Don’t be tempted to raise the heat as this will burn easily .

POUR the mixture into the pan and spread evenly.

ALLOW the egg to cook around the edges then “carefully” lift the tortilla and peek underneath to see if the bottom is just slightly brown.

I hate scorched eggs. The egg on top will still be raw but the bottom should be cooked at this stage.

TURN the mixture (see below)when it is golden on the bottom to cook the other side

Now this bit is a little tricky.  Go for it with confidence and don’t hesitate .

TAKE  the frying pan to the sink.

PLACE  a large dinner plate (12″) upside down over the frying pan.

HOLD  the frying pan handle with one hand and the other hand firmly on top of the plate to hold it steady.

QUICKLY TURN  the frying pan over and the tortilla will fall onto the plate.

I personally  find it easier to use a plate that fits snugly inside the rim of the frying pan but other recipes use a plate larger than the pan.

PLACE  the frying pan back on the heat, add more oil if necessary and let the pan come back to temperature.

SLIDE the tortilla into the frying pan.

TIDY  the sides of the tortilla with your spatula.

COOK  for 3-4 mins. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.

SERVE  with a green salad , tomato salad or bean salad etc. or in the Spanish tradition with Sofrito.

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