A few years ago I lived in Barcelona, Spain, for about a year and I never tired of the simple Spanish tortilla – something more like a quiche and not at all related to the thin thing you wrap a burrito in. The traditional dish is typically made with olive oil, eggs, potatoes and not much else. Seemingly simple, I have never really had a Spanish tortilla in the US that tasted very authentic to me.

On a recent evening I found myself with a carton of eggs, a bunch of kale and not much else. Enter this fabulous recipe from Gourmet’s 2003 issue, found on Epicurious.com. It calls for things I really always have on hand: eggs, potato, onion, greens (kale, chard, beet leaves, etc), olive oil, salt.

The reason I am sharing it with you? It uses SEVEN EGGS! If you have chickens in your backyard, save this recipe to use up all those eggs.

The recipe is a bit time-consuming when we compare it to the 30-minute weeknight meals we are used to throwing together, but I think the wait is worth it. It is really not labor intensive – it just needs some time to develop the right flavor. And if you try to cut corners, be prepared for an underwhelming result. Spanish cooking is generally simple, but it requires time for the flavors to come into their own.

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Kale and Potato Spanish Tortilla

Gourmet 2003

  • 1 lb boiling potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb kale, center ribs discarded
  • 7 large eggs

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 1/4 cups). Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then reduce heat to moderately low and cook potatoes, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Blanch kale while potatoes cook:
Cook kale in a 4- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain again, squeezing handfuls of kale to extract excess moisture, then coarsely chop.

Add kale to potato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain vegetables in colander set over a bowl, reserving drained oil, and cool 10 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl, then stir in vegetables, 1 tablespoon drained oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Add 1 tablespoon drained oil to skillet, then add egg mixture and cook over low heat, covered, until sides are set but center is still loose, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.

Shake skillet gently to make sure tortilla is not sticking (if it is sticking, loosen with a heatproof plastic spatula). Slide tortilla onto a large flat plate, then invert skillet over tortilla and flip it back into skillet. Round off edge of tortilla with plastic spatula and cook over low heat, covered, 10 minutes more. Slide tortilla onto a plate and serve warm, cut into wedges.

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If you have things like roasted red peppers in the freezer, thaw them and throw them into the mix. I used only a 1/2 cup of oil instead of the full cup, which worked out fine for me. My oven is horrible so I ended up broiling the top rather than flipping. I cooked it in a cast iron skillet and it was AMAZING. I enjoyed with a big green salad.

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