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Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española
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A traditional tapas favorite, this egg and potato dish can be found in almost every tapas bar in Spain for good reason…it’s filling, delicious and it goes beautifully with wine. Stuffed with sautéed potatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and tomato, a Spanish tortilla is one of the original one-pan meals.

Although called a tortilla, it doesn’t resemble in the least what most Americans refer to as a tortilla. This dish more closely resembles a frittata and is so sturdy that it is often eaten out of hand. It’s most often served at room temperature which makes it an easy main course option for busy hosts. Make the tortilla and assemble the ingredients for the salad and salad dressing ahead of time for a stress-less weeknight family meal or a Saturday night company supper on the patio. Either way, this dinner satisfies.

It’s that easy: Make sure that you cut the potatoes in small dice as directed or the potatoes will not be tender in the time allocated. It can be dicey (pun intended) to cook potatoes to tenderness when they are of varying sizes or cut into too large chunks.

Tortilla Española

Start to finish: 45 minutes 
Hands-on time: 30 minutes 
Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-lb peeled red-skinned potatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Heat a 12-inch non-stick or seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the potato, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for another 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and tomato to the pan and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
  2. While the vegetables finish cooking, in a large bowl beat the eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper and the parsley.
  3. Pour in the eggs evenly and cook over low heat, covered for 5 minutes.
  4. While the tortilla cooks, preheat the broiler with rack on second highest setting.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook for 3 minutes or until the tortilla is set. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides with a spatula and slide the tortilla onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with the tossed salad on the side.

Make-ahead: The tortilla will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving or reheat wrapped in foil in a 350 degrees F. oven for about 10 minutes.

Extra Hungry Kids? Though not traditional, diced ham, bacon or sausage are great additions to this Spanish omelet and help to fill hungry tummies and keep them full before bedtime.

Adult Taste Buds: Top your tortilla with a spicy bottled salsa or hot sauce.

In the Glass: Spanish wine goes beautifully with Spanish food so look for a Verdejo, a citrusy white from the Rueda province of Spain.

Ensalada Mixta (Tossed Salad)

Start to finish: 20 minutes 
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

Vinaigrette is so easy to make that you may never buy bottled dressing again. The shallot adds another level of flavor as it softens in the vinegar with salt and herbs while the mustard helps the dressing to emulsify or remain blended. Sherry vinegar is worth the space in your pantry as it has a sweet/tart character you’ll find works beautifully wherever vinegar is called for.


  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, tarragon or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon or whole grained mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
  • Grape tomatoes, halved
  • Green olives, chopped
  • Cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Carrot, grated
  • Red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Add the shallot, vinegar, herbs, mustard and salt to a large bowl and let sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to blend and the salt to dissolve.
  2. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
  3. Moments before serving the tortilla, add the lettuce, tomato, olive, cucumber, carrot and onion to the bowl of vinaigrette and toss with your hands to coat the vegetables. Serve immediately.

Variation: You could add cheese, croutons, marinated artichoke hearts, avocado, orange slices, fennel or just about anything you love. Make this salad your own!

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Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española

Carla Snyder

By Carla Snyder

Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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