03 October 2013
Potato harvest equals Spanish tortilla
A few days ago, my potato vine died back for the season. If you haven't ever grown potatoes, this is normal for fall--and a clear indicator that the plant is ready for harvest. You know what that means: fresh potatoes!
This was a volunteer potato that came up randomly behind my tomatoes, which meant I didn't have the space to make a real potato mound. Next year maybe I'll find a good spot for an actual devoted potato area. But our one tiny crowded potato vine actually produced quite a few potatoes, considering its competition. Hooray, two big handfuls of tiny tender fingerlings!
Clearly, we needed to cook something super potato-y to take advantage of our beautiful fresh potatoes. That meant Spanish tortilla: a massive and delicious pan-fried cake of potato and egg.
This is one of those dishes that is far more than the sum of its parts, and that's good, because (fantastic homegrown potatoes notwithstanding) the parts are just potatoes, eggs, oil or butter, and salt and pepper, with optional herbs & etc. of your choice. Super simple, super cheap, and super delicious.
We didn't have quite enough potatoes for a full potato-centric dish (although a nice baby potato and green bean vinaigrette salad would have been amazing too), so we ended up combining our harvest with a bag of baby redskin potatoes. No problem!
Spanish tortilla is the greatest
butter/oil of your choice
Start by scrubbing all your potatoes and cutting them into thin slices. Ours were about an eighth of an inch thick, but you can go as thin as you like. It's all good, especially if you have a mandoline. You want about enough potatoes to make a layer half an inch thick in your pan of choice.
Warm a generous slug of your oil in a wide frying pan. I used a mix of oil and butter. Toss in your potatoes and stir briefly to coat. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and let cook over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and turning golden brown on all sides.
While your potatoes are cooking, slice a big handful of green onions. Throw the whites in to cook with the potatoes and save the greens to add later. If you want to add any other green herbs, like parsley, chop those up and set them aside with the onion greens.
Next, crack as many eggs as you want to eat into a mixing bowl. You want roughly the same volume of egg as potato, or a little bit less. We used six eggs, which was not quite enough, but worked out ok anyway. Season with salt and pepper and beat well with a fork. Mix in the onion greens and any other herbs or spices you like. I think some red pepper flake would be pretty great here.
When your potatoes are edible, pour in your egg mixture, turning the pan to get it evenly distributed. Turn the heat down a touch and let the egg cook.
When the bottom layer of the tortilla is done, you have two options for cooking the top. Option one: flip the entire tortilla by topping the pan with a plate, inverting both together, and sliding the flipped tortilla back into the pan to cook on the other side. Option two: put the whole pan under the broiler for a minute or two, until the top layer is cooked. We chose option two, mostly because we were using our biggest pan, which meant that none of the regular plates was big enough for flipping action.
Slide your finished tortilla out of the pan and onto a cutting board or plate. Slice it up and serve with a big green salad or your green vegetable of choice. And yes, a big cake of egg and cheese is definitely rich enough that you're going to want a major amount of greens to go with it.
Now eat it! Hooray, potato harvest!
What lovely new fall vegetables are you eating lately?