If you think an omelette is boring, think again. If you want to take the humble omelette to the next level and use up some leftovers, the Spanish omelette, sometimes referred to as a tortilla or frittata, is perfect.
Not only is this a cheap and easy dish to make – it’s also very adaptable to suit whatever you have in your store cupboard or whatever the weather. Have it hot or cold, have it as part of tapas or a whole meal… the options are endless.
A great way to get your veggies in or served with a multi-coloured mixed salad and crusty, fresh bread – a Spanish omelette is perfect for breakfast, lunch or supper.
Unlike the better-known French omelette which should be made quickly and over a high heat, the Spanish omelette needs to be cooked more gently, so that the middle is not too runny.
The French omelette is best eaten straight away and always hot. Its Spanish counterpart, on the other hand, improves if left to rest for at least five minutes before eating, keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge, and can easily be re-heated in the microwave, unless you prefer it cold.
It’s a bit like a quiche without the pastry.
As with the French omelette, the Spanish tortilla is made in a frying pan (preferably non-stick) but, unlike the French version, both sides need to be cooked. For this reason, it is possible to buy special tortilla frying pans – a sort of double pan which allows you to just swish it over and cook the other side.
But you can also pop it under the grill or simply cover it with a plate or lid.
Whichever way you choose to prepare it, once cooked, leave it to cool a little, cover with a large plate, then gently ease the omelette out.
It should be circular, about an inch-and-a-half thick, and it is usual to cut it in slices or wedges.
But, like we said, this omelette is adaptable. You can also cut it into small cubes, pop a cocktail stick on top, and serve along with other “bits and pieces” as aperitifs.
Spanish recipes for tortilla vary slightly from region to region or by what you have in the fridge and what you fancy.
You can replace the potato with, spinach, leave out the onion, add a bit more garlic… there really aren’t any limits to this.
Ingredients for a Spanish omelette
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed with 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
- Black pepper
- 6 eggs, beaten
Method for making a Spanish omelette
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan.
- Add onion, garlic, pepper and potatoes.
- Gently fry until golden-brown and potatoes slightly softened.
- Tip potato-and-onion mixture into bowl containing the beaten eggs.
- Stir and transfer to a large frying pan containing clean oil.
- Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer pan to a preheated hot grill until top is browned.
- Alternatively, turn upside down onto a plate and return to pan to brown underside.
- Carefully tip onto plate and slice as you would a cake.