Spanish Tortilla/Tortilla Española recipe and cookbook review: Tapas and other Spanish plates to share

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A million years ago, or 23 to be slightly more accurate, my husband and I traveled around Spain, Portugal, and Morocco on our honeymoon. The trip was beyond amazing! The Prado Museum and Plaza Major in Madrid were fabulous. The salt-crusted fish and possibly skinny dipping on the coast in Marbella were delicious. And in Seville, we fell desperately in love with the flamenco shows and Maria Luisa Park. And the tapas and thick hot chocolate. Tapas everywhere. It’s a garlic-lover’s dream.

The pic on the left is our first flamenco show. The pic on the right was after our second show. It was raining outside and we were a few miles from the hotel. We’d used all our money on the trip and a poster in Madrid, so we had to run back in heels. Well, he probably had on comfy dude shoes. I’m sure that doesn’t sound ideal, and I wouldn’t have chosen it, but we were soaked and laughing, and that somehow makes the memory even more vivid.

This is my husband in front of one of the scenes at Maria Luisa Park, the gorgeous tiled park in Seville. We were too excited when we recognized the park in Star Wars films later (Theed on the planet Naboo in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones).

I picked up the book, Tapas and other Spanish plates to share, and the cover is embossed to feel like tiling. 😍 This is a *fabulous* book of tapas dishes. Many of them are easy and fast, so it’s very doable to make several dishes. It’s like a quick trip to a tapas bar right in my little hands.

A huge thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for letting me share the recipe for Spanish Tortilla with you! This is a terrific recipe for a Spanish tortilla. It’s delicious and a lot easier than many recipes for this dish. Please note that the ingredients call for ¼ cup olive oil, but the instructions add up to ½ cup, so be sure to measure out ½ cup. I’ll tell you all about that book after the recipe.


Tapas and Other Spanish Plates to Share, Ryland Peters & Small, $14.95. Photo credit © Ryland Peters & Small.
Spanish omelette / Tortilla española

Spanish Tortilla

Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española is recognized as Spain’s national dish. It’s a favorite, eaten at all times of the day. Tapas bars frequently serve this tortilla cut up into bite-sized chunks. It can be made in advance and even tastes better that way.

100 ml/¼ cup olive or sunflower/safflower oil <should be 1/2 cup ~Jen>
4 potatoes, about 500 g/1 pound, cut into 1 centimeter/½ inch cubes
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A 24 centimeter/9 inch heavy non-stick frying pan/skillet (measure the base, not the top)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the frying pan/skillet. Add the potatoes and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender, lifting and turning occasionally. Remove the potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside the oil.

Put the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl and beat with a fork. Add the potatoes and onions to the bowl, stir gently, then set aside for 10 minutes.

Put 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in the frying pan/skillet and heat until smoking. Pour in the potato and egg mixture, spreading the potatoes evenly in the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then reduce to medium and shake the pan often to stop it sticking. When the eggs are brown underneath and the top nearly firm, put a plate the same size as the pan on top and flip the tortilla onto it. Add 4 tablespoons of the remaining oil to the pan and slide the tortilla back into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden brown on the other side.

Serve hot or at room temperature, cut into squares.


I love to serve Tortilla Española with a little aioli. There’s a delicious aioli recipe in the book, but I love to make a short-cut, cheater aioli when I’m feeling lazy. I’ll share that with you in case you are in an underachieving mood, too.

Jen’s Cheater Aioli

1 cup mayonnaise
4 pressed or minced garlic cloves (2 if you prefer mild)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Mix well and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. The flavors will mingle much more nicely if you give it a little time to do so. 😀


My thoughts and pics of the dishes we tried:

1) Meatballs in Tomato Sauce – p 27. These are divine. They’re super garlicky and the clove and nutmeg give them lovely warm notes.

2) Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins – p 107. The garlic and paprika give the dish lots of background flavor that balanced so perfectly with sweet raisins, creamy pine nuts, and a splash of sherry. She gives a few variation ideas to try, too.

3) Marinated Peppers – p 88. Delicious. The peppers are broiled until they’re sweet and smoky and then balanced with a quick saute of garlic, some nice acidity from sherry vinegar, and gorgeous briny capers.

4) Garlic Prawns – p 68. Simple and perfect. The garlic aioli makes it.

5) Chorizo in Red Wine – p 15. This is one of those under 15 minute recipes that’s so easy and makes the chorizo so much more special.

6) Salted Almonds – p 85. So simple and perfect. The paprika hitting the warm nuts is wonderfully fragrant. My daughter reused the now almond infused olive oil for some almond pancakes.

7) Dinner! 😀

8) Spanish Stuffed Peppers – p 91. My kiddos competed for these. They’re stuffed with a super garlicky bean dip that’s wonderful.

9) Queso Frito – p 121. Fried Manchego cheese. This isn’t a finicky one. The cheese holds up really well to a quick fry.

10) Spicy Moorish Kebabs – p 28. The pork marinates overnight in an herby spicy marinade, then goes for a quick trip on the grill. Super fragrant and juicy.

11) Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce – p 103. Fabulous. It’s really garlic with mushrooms. Expect it to take several minutes more than called for for the garlic wine sauce to reduce and cling to the mushrooms. These were the dinner favorite. So flavorful!

12) Dinner!

13) Spanish Tortilla – p 121. This is a terrific recipe for a Spanish tortilla. It’s delicious and a lot easier than many recipes for this dish. Please note that the ingredients call for ¼ cup olive oil, but the instructions add up to ½ cup, so be sure to measure out ½ cup.

14) Jewelled Gazpacho – p 75. This was nice and refreshing. I might add a shot of something to it poolside in the summertime.

I’ll update this as I play in the book more!

Some others I have flagged to try: Squid with Mayonnaise – p 52 * Garlic Olive Oil, Warm Marinated Olives and Serrano Ham Platter – p 79 * Marinated Black Olives and Marinated Green Olives – p 84 * Grilled Wild Asparagus – p 87 * Spanish Roasted Vegetables – 96 * Potatoes in Shirts – 108 * Aioli – p 117 * Cheese Balls – p 118 * Aubergine Cheese Fritters – p 122 * Baked Eggs Flamenco Style – p 125

*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.


Need that book? I’m an Amazon affiliate. Any time you use one of my links to make a purchase, Amazon gives me a tiny percentage. Thank you!

Tapas and other Spanish plates to share

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