Basque Potato Tortilla {FFwD}

When I saw the name of this recipe, I pictured a potato-filled quesadilla or some other Mexican-inspired dish. But in fact, this dish comes to France from Spain, where tortilla — translated “little cake” — refers to an egg dish similar to what we think of as an omelette.

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is in essence a baked omelette filled with potatoes and onions. Although in France and Spain it is generally served cold or at room temperature for lunch or dinner, I couldn’t imagine eating it any other way than fresh out of the oven for brunch.

I began by cooking the potatoes and onions in a small amount of olive oil. Because it was a busy week, I took a shortcut and bought a bag of Potatoes O’Brien. So in addition to the potatoes and onions, my tortilla also had a few green and red peppers in it. After the vegetables were cooked, I removed them to a bowl, washed the pan, and put the pan back on the heat with a little more olive oil.

When the oil had heated, I poured in beaten eggs and the potatoes and lowered the heat. After two minutes, I ran a spatula around the edge of the pan, then put the lid on the pan. I allowed the eggs to cook slowly, periodically using a rubber spatula to make sure the eggs weren’t sticking to the pan.

After the eggs were mostly cooked, with just a little uncooked egg glistening in the center of the tortilla, I placed the pan under the broiler to finish cooking.

This was a really good egg dish, although I still can’t envision eating it cold. We enjoyed it for brunch, and everyone agreed that, whatever the book calls it, it was a baked omelette. I could see making this again for breakfast or brunch when I have company, and changing up the ingredients for variety. And I would definitely add cheese the next time.



  1. Flourchild said,

    February 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    It wasn’t so bad at room temperature! I liked it, my husband was like you way and Im eating this cold! He had it hot and loved it! You tort. turned out looking great!!!

    • gaaarp said,

      February 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks. Your husband sounds like a wise man!

  2. betsy said,

    February 5, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Besides the fact that I was too hungry to wait for it cool down, like you, I prefer my eggs warm. We ate it hot from the oven the first night and reheated it in the microwave the second. No thoughts of eating it at a cooler temp.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 5, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      We ate it fresh. There were some leftovers, but I didn’t try it cold or reheated. I’m not much for “reruns”.

  3. Krissy said,

    February 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I liked it hot, right out of the oven. I tried the small leftover piece today cold out of the fridge, and I couldn’t do it…not so good. I warmed it up and it was OK, but not great like fresh and hot.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      Seems to be the general consensus. Glad I ate mine hot.

  4. Candy said,

    February 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    We had ours at room temperature (ok, with a glass of wine, I’ll admit), and really enjoyed it. Not so much cold – and I would have liked it maybe a little warmer, too. I kind of think this recipe is a little fussy with the temperature thing, but we really did enjoy it – though admittedly the “romance” of the day and conversation made it better… not like that’s a bad thing!

    • gaaarp said,

      February 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      I need to try it agian, with some ‘shrooms and cheese.

  5. Kathy said,

    February 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Your’s looks wonderful! I ate mine right out of the oven. I don’t think I would like it cold. I agree that it does make a very nice presentation. My husband and I both really enjoyed this.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks. We liked it, too. But I wish I had added cheese!

  6. Cher said,

    February 4, 2011 at 7:57 am

    It was good, but I wasn’t thrilled with it cold/ room temperature as suggested. I liked it better when I reheated it in a frying pan… I did like the technique, though – I would just serve it quicker!

    • gaaarp said,

      February 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

      It was good right out of the oven. I think I’d normally serve it that way.

  7. teaandscones said,

    February 4, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Glorified omelet, well, that’s okay. I was surprised by this one, too. Will make in the a.m. for lunch. Gald you ended up liking it. I was thinking more fritatta.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      I suppose it is more like a fritatta. But since I’ve never made a fritatta, I thought omelette!

  8. Heather said,

    February 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I totally get where you’re coming from and I’d be inclined to agree. However, I had the experience of trying a Spanish tortilla made by my friend (from Spain), served at room temperature, and it was amazing. I was very tentative about trying it at first but then I couldn’t get enough. And then I forgot about it, until now… Perhaps I’ll try making them myself. Yours looks truly delicious.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Hmm, maybe I’ll have to try it at room temperature after all.

  9. Abby said,

    February 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Yum, that looks really tasty…but I agree, an omelette definitely needs cheese!

  10. February 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    It seems like a frittata to me, too. Your post pushed me off the fence, and I’m glad I made the recipe. I liked the way it puffed under the broiler.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      It did puff up quite a bit. It acutally fell a little when I took it out of the pan.

  11. Kayte said,

    February 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I’m thinking cheese and bacon (okay, I know you don’t do bacon, but we do)…I don’t know, we are still on the fence about me making this one…I have until almost midnight tomorrow to decide I guess. Yours looks tempting actually…I had envisioned it differently but I like the puffy part of yours. Potatoes and eggs…maybe, we shall see.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      I wasn’t so sure about this recipe, either. Had I not been home from work yesterday and needing to come up with an idea for lunch, I probably wouldn’t have made it. As it turns out, it’s a good way to make a baked omelette, and the presentation is nice.

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