Spanish Tortilla with a soft centre


750grFloury potatoes, peeled and sliced into
medium thick slices about 2-3mm
1 mediumOnion, peeled, halved & sliced into thin rings
1 large cloveGarlic, fresh chopped finely
250ml1 cupOlive oil
5Eggs, large
Salt & freshly ground black pepper


The size of the frying pan is important: this recipe uses a base measurement of 20cm/8in diameter & is about right for 3-4 people for a lunch (or 2 very greedy people!!!). If using a larger pan for more people, it should not be too heavy because you need to turn the omelette out using both hands. Use a non-stick pan if you don’t have a well-seasoned frying pan. An enormous asset here is a flat saucepan lid or large plate that fits the pan.

Please make sure that you use fresh eggs if you are going to leave the centre soft.

Use floury potatoes. Make sure the potato slices are cooked right through and are starting to break up a bit.

Don’t scrimp on the olive oil. It can be set aside when you’re finished to be re-used for cooking or to make another tortilla.


First of all, peel and cut the onion in half, then thinly slice each half and separate the layers into half-moon shapes.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into medium rounds about 2-3mm but don’t worry as these don’t have to be perfect!

Next, heat the olive oil in the frying pan and when medium hot, add the potatoes, onions & garlic. Toss them around in the oil to get a good coating, then turn the heat down to a lower setting, add a generous sprinkling of salt and let the onions and potatoes cook gently for 20 minutes, or until tender. Gently turn them over halfway through and shake the pan from time to time, as they are not supposed to brown but just gently stew in the oil.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a large bowl and, using a fork, whisk them lightly. Add some salt & pepper.

When the onions and potatoes are cooked, pour them into a colander over a bowl to allow the oil to drain off.

When a little cooler, add the drained, cooked potato slices, onions and garlic to the eggs in the bowl and gently mix through. Don’t worry if some of the potato slices break up a bit but just be as gentle as you can.

Put the frying pan back on the heat over a medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of the retained olive oil.

Gently pour the potato/egg mix into the frying pan and gently shake the pan and use a spatula to spread the potatoes and egg mixture evenly – the eggs should expand and bubble up at the edges with the heat. Continue to fry at a medium-high heat till the eggs are starting to set firmly at the edges, the egg mixture is just setting towards the centre but the centre egg mixture is still loose, the tortilla is starting to brown on the bottom (use a spatula to check) and if you shake the pan, the tortilla is sliding in the pan. You should think it is only just ready to turn over. You might need to turn the heat down if the tortilla is browning too quickly. This initial frying should be about 3-5 minutes but will depend on how high you have set your heat.

Turn it over to cook the other side. There are 2 methods to do this. I use the first because the top should still be a bit runny and I want to disturb this as little as possible.

(1) Shaking the frying pan and using a spatula to help you, slide the tortilla onto a plate that is bigger than it (if there is any residual olive oil this will also move to the plate). Invert the frying pan over the tortilla on the plate, lift the plate, holding it firmly in place and quickly invert the whole lot before the pan loses too much heat. The tortilla will drop into the frying pan. remove the plate. Tuck any loose edge down to create a lovely round shape.

(2) Place a flat lid or plate over the pan covering the tortilla, carefully invert both so that the omelette is on the lid or plate (watch out for hot oil dripping on your hand). Put the pan back on the heat and use the palette knife to gently ease the omelette back in. Some egg mixture will get left on the plate, just discard this. Tuck any loose edge down to create a lovely round shape.

Give it about 2-3 minutes more frying on the other side still over the medium-high heat.

Remember that you are looking for a soft centre and that the tortilla will continue to cook a little and the eggs will set a bit more as it is cooling.

Slide the tortilla onto a clean plate suitable for serving.

Serve hot or at room temperature (this is my preference!), cut in wedges, with a salad, on it’s own, with some bread or as a side dish to a main. But whichever way you decide to have it, don’t forget to have it with a glass of chilled white wine or even red if you prefer – it’s brilliant. Note: If you having it for breakfast, you might want to forego the wine and have it with a cold glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, clinking with a bit of ice.

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