Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet)

Two things always come to mind when I think of Barcelona, Spain: Antoni Gaudí and paella! The famous architect’s mosaic designs, one of the most recognizable of which is the multi-colored ceramic dragon that stands guard at the entrance to Park Güell, (see photo) are as festive and delightful as the classic Spanish dish. I see paella as a mouth-watering mosaic of chicken, pork, seafood, peas, peppers, artichokes, and saffron-spiced rice, among other things.

My visit to Barcelona also made me fall in love with tapas — those delicious canapés, finger food, appetizers and small-plate specialties that are served day in and day out in cafés and bars in Spain.

The tortilla de patatas (potato omelet) is by far my favorite of the tapas. And boy, am I glad they’re so simple and quick to prepare!


5 medium red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

5 medium eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

5-6 tbsp olive oil


Lightly sprinkle salt over the potato slices

In a large skillet, heat 4 tbsp of olive oil

Add the potato slices and cook both sides over medium heat until tender

Add onions and garlic and cook for another minute or so

Remove from heat, drain and set aside

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, adding salt and pepper to taste

Mix in the potatoes, making sure all pieces are coated with the  egg

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the skillet and add the egg-coated potatoes, spreading them evenly to fill the base of the skillet

Reduce heat, constantly shaking the skillet, making sure you do not burn the bottom of the omelet

Cover the skillet with a flat plate and — away from the stove –turn the skillet over

Return skillet to stove and add about a tablespoon of olive oil

Once the oil is heated, slice back the omelet from the plate into the skillet

Cook until fully set

Remove from heat

Serve on a platter, cutting the omelet into wedges

If desired, top with fresh tomato slices

(Makes 6-8 servings)


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