Spanish Tortilla with Olives & Tomatoes

11:31 pm on 21 August 2009

Here's a tip -when the potato and egg mixture goes into the pan, the oil must be hot, so that the egg puffs up around the sides. This prevents it sticking to the pan, but the heat must be lowered immediately so the tortilla cooks gently, keeping the inside creamy.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

(Serves 6-10)


  • 750g potatoes, such as agria or desiree
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 medium (size 6) free-range eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pimento-stuffed olives, drained and halved
  • ½ cup semi-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 12 basil leaves
  • ½ cup grated tasty cheddar cheese


1. Peel potatoes and cut into slices 3mm thick. Pat dry with a clean cloth.

2. Use a 20cm non-stick frying pan. Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Slip in the potato slices, a few at a time, then turn the heat to low. Cover pan and cook for 5 minutes. Toss the potatoes carefully, without breaking them up, then put the onion on top and continue cooking for 10 minutes, tossing often, or until the potatoes are tender but not browned. Tip the potatoes and onion into a strainer set over a bowl and drain briefly.

3. Put the eggs and salt in a large bowl and beat until frothy. Add the drained potatoes and onion, olives, tomatoes, basil and cheese and mix in; leave for 10 minutes.

4. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add 2 tablespoons of the drained oil (the rest can be reused; strain it into a container, leaving the starch behind) and heat it in the pan over a high heat (swirl the oil around the sides of the pan). When it is hot, tip in the egg mixture and immediately turn the heat to low. Cook gently, until a light golden brown on the base, about 5 minutes. Take pan off the heat, place a large plate over the pan and invert the tortilla onto it. Quickly slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook the second side gently until a light golden colour and firmish; ideally you want it just cooked through so it is beautifully moist, but not runny. Alternatively, and this is probably easier if it's your first time making a tortilla, slide the tortilla onto a large plate, cover with a second plate, invert, and slide back into the pan uncooked side down.

Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges or cubes.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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