A Spanish tortilla—tortilla española, in Spanish—looks like a large flat omelet. It’s absolute perfection in its simplicity and use of minimal ingredients: eggs, potato, salt, onion (some authentic recipes omit the onion), and olive oil—a perfect dish for a big family. In Spain, these tortillas are consumed daily in tapas bars and around the family table as breakfast, lunch, and dinner staples. They’re equally delicious served either warm or at room temperature. My recipe is a hybrid, combining the ingredients of a tortilla with the technique and appearance of a frittata, where the cooking is finished in the oven. We make them in all our cast-iron skillets— 6-, 10-, 12-, and 14-inchers—depending on the size of the group we’re feeding. The first one up in the morning prepares the tortilla and leaves it to sit on the stove throughout the day. The boys can grab a wedge on their own time. Sometimes when baked potatoes are on the dinner menu, I’ll make extra in anticipation of breakfast the next morning. For the traditional Spanish tortilla method, use a nonstick skillet. When the eggs are almost set, use a large plate to flip and invert the tortilla onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan to finish cooking.

Spanish Frittata

Serves 6 to 8
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ onion, chopped (¾ cup)
• 1 large potato, peeled, cooked, and cut into ½-inch cubes
• 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
• 8 large eggs, beaten

Artisan Books

Artisan Books

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the potato and ¾ teaspoon of the salt. Continue to cook and occasionally stir until the onion and potato are slightly browned, 5 to 6 more minutes.

3. Add the eggs and the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Swirl them around the pan and lower the heat. When the eggs are set on the side but the top is still loose, place the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes. The tortilla will turn slightly golden and puff up before it settles. Cut into wedges to serve.

Lucinda Scala Quinn is the Executive Director of Food and Entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and host of the weekly food radio show, EatDrink. This recipe is excerpted from her book Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys.

Recipe Courtesy of Artisan Books. Copyright © 2009. Photographs by Mikkel Vang.