Tortilla espanola for the olive pickers

On any morning last week there were eight to ten olive pickers, all with robust appetites, clustered around the kitchen stove for coffee, tea, and whatever could fill them up and get them started on the trees. My job? Providing the filling. And nothing filled more adequately than that

Tortilla espanola in the black iron skillet

.

It’s too simple to need a recipe but here goes: For eight people, take a good-sized onion and three potatoes. Chop the onion, slice the potatoes, and add them to the skillet with about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Stew gently over medium-low heat until the potatoes are soft. While they’re cooking, chop the potatoes further with a spatula. (Why not just chop the potatoes in the first place? I don’t know, I’m just doing what Spanish cooks do.) Add salt and pepper and then, when the potatoes are tender, remove the skillet from the heat and drain the vegetables, reserving the oil.

Beat up about ten or a dozen eggs in a bowl and tip in the drained vegetables, stirring to mix it all together. Now using a clean skillet (or wiping out the one you used before and getting up any bits that have burned on), add back the olive oil and a couple of tablespoons more–so you have a layer about 1/4 inch thick over the bottom. Set the skillet back on the heat, medium now, and when the oil is sizzling, turn in the egg mixture. Immediately start to run a palette knife around the edge and lift and gently stir the egg mixture as it firms up. (Vigorous stirring will turn this into scrambled eggs with potatoes and onions, delicious yes, but not what we’re looking for today.)

Once it’s pretty firm on top, if you are dexterous and confident in the kitchen, you can flip the tortilla the way Spanish cooks do. Take a plate that is a little larger in diameter than the skillet and set it upside down on top. Then turn skillet and plate together so that the tortilla drops onto the plate, from which you slide it back into the skillet to brown the other side. If you’re not dexterous (and I’m not), you will have turned on the oven broiler a few steps back and will now simply slide the skillet under the broiler to brown the top.

Whichever, whatever, set the tortilla aside for 15 to 30 minutes and then serve it cut into wedges. (You can transfer it to a serving platter but if you are feeding hungry olive pickers you will not even wait 15 minutes and you will serve the tortilla directly from the skillet.) You don’t have to wait for a troupe of olive pickers either–cut down the quantities, use a smaller skillet, and you can make a delicious breakfast or an ample lunch for two.

This entry was posted in Posts. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Fall 2014 AmorOlio

    October 12 - 18 and November 9 -15 2014: Puglia! The heel of the boot and incidentally home to 60 million olive trees and more than half the oil produced in all of Italy. We’re planning two trips, in October and again in November of 2014, to introduce you to the olive harvest and the culinary delights of a region I first wrote about back in the 1990s and have been visiting regularly ever since. . READ HERE

  • TUSCANY AUTUMN 2013: AMOROLIO

    OCTOBER 21 – 27 Plans are shaping up for our autumn AmorOlio program, October 21 to 27, 2013, at Villa Campestri (“the world’s only olive oil resort”), in the hills above Tuscany’s Mugello valley just half an hour north of Florence. READ HERE

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories


  • join our mailing list
    * indicates required
| Website design by Mi and Mo Design