Spanish Tapas Menu: Spanish Potato Tortilla

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Serves 4 to 6
Along with paella, Tortilla Española is one of Spain’s quintessential dishes. Most often, it is made simply with potatoes and onions. But you can add other vegetables or herbs. In Spain, the potatoes are fried in olive oil before they are added to the tortilla. To cut back on the olive oil needed, I pre-cook the potatoes in salted water. Tortilla traditionally is cut into small squares and served at room temperature.

  • 2 large potatoes, quartered lengthwise then sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces (about 4 cups)
  • About 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1¼ to 1½ cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 7 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 generous tablespoon fresh chopped Italian oregano or marjoram OR 1 generous teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram leaves, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Cook potatoes in lightly salted water until al dente (firm but tender); drain.
    In a skillet or sauté pan over a moderate flame, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and sauté about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add potatoes, season well with salt and pepper, then cook 4 to 5 minutes; use a spatula to turn potatoes occasionally and prevent sticking. Remove pan from heat.
    In a medium bowl, beat eggs with oregano and parsley. Transfer onions and potatoes into bowl with eggs and stir.
  3. Preheat broiler. In a 12-inch sauté pan over moderate heat, heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Pour egg and potato mixture into hot pan, shake pan to distribute contents evenly, then cook over medium-low heat until egg begins to set around the edges—about 4 minutes.
  4. Using a spatula, gently loosen the tortilla from the sides of the pan. Slide spatula under tortilla to see if it is browning and if bottom is set. When bottom is cooked, place pan under broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. The eggs should be just set on top.
  5. Remove pan from broiler and loosen tortilla. Slide tortilla onto a large round platter and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cut into small squares; insert a toothpick in the middle of each. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Contributing editor Susan Belsinger of Brookeville, Maryland, cooks up an astounding array of delicious herbal recipes, articles, books and lectures. 

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