Food styling / Main course

Spanish Tortilla or Tortilla de Patata


It’s been a bliss submerging myself into the story of two chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero – husband and wife – who pay tribute to the Basque cuisine and the way Basques eat, lovingly narrated in their first cookbook. The Basque Book.

Heirloom Eggs | Au Petit GoûtSerrano and charcuterie platter | Au Petit Goût

Sharing a sneak peek of the book, this recipe is extracted directly from The Basque Book which follows below. We enjoy tortilla de patata warm or cold year-round. I generally add a few red peppers (in julienne) and or parsley leaves, (or if I have it available a few slices of Chorizo).

I’m excited to bring you their beautiful love story, along with the dishes I prepared from The Basque Book, and the cuisine that tied their lives together up next.

Elizabeth Gaubeka Food Styling | Au Petit Goût

© Au Petit Goût.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Spanish Tortilla or Tortilla de Patata
Cook time
Total time
Credit for this recipe is from Alex Raij and Eder Montero from their book: The Basque Book.
: Spanish
: Spain
Serves: 8
  • 4 or 5 russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup canola oil, or as needed
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • Kosher salt
  • 10 eggs, at room temperature
  1. Peel 4 of the potatoes, the rinse under cool running water and cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut he quarter crosswise into ⅛-inch thick slices. You have have 4 cups potato slices. If you're short, cut up another potato.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes and onion and add the canola oil and ½ cup of the live oil to cover, adding more of each if needed to cover.
  3. Add enough salt to season the vegetables, to the oil. Place over low heat and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetable are tender. Remove from the heat; drain the vegetables, reserving the oil. Set the vegetables aside. Carefully strand the oil through a fine-mesh strainer and store in the fridge for future use.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 9 - to - 10 inch non-stick frying pan over high heat. While the oil is heating, beat the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt just until blended. If you're not squeamish about raw eggs, taste them and adjust the seasoning. Add the potatoes and onion to the eggs, fold them in with a heat-resistant spatula to combine.
  5. When the oil is smoking, make sure to swirl it up on the sides of the pan to prevent the tortilla from sticking. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and toss the mixture aggressively, as if sautéing it or flipping pancakes, about three times, then stop to give it time to form a skin. You want to heat what will be the inside of the tortilla, but you want foundation. Prod the mixture with the spatula around the edges to give it shape and to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Begin to shape the side of the tortilla by using the spatula to pull the mixture gently from the side of the pan, shaking the pan to make sure the mixture isn't stuck.
  6. When the egg just begins to set, after about 1 minute, turn down the heat to medium-low and cook 1 more minutes. Invert a large plate on top of the pan. Firmly grasp the pan handle, choking up on it with the help of a kitchen towel, place your free hand palm down over the plate, and flip the pan and plate over together, dropping the tortilla onto the plate into the pan, using a pushing-and-pulling motion. Pat down the tortilla and begin shaping its sides again. Cook for 1 minute. Repeat the flip and return process its sides again. Cook for 1 minute. Repeat the flip and return process and cook for another 2 minutes over very low heat; you shouldn't need more oil at this point. Repeat the flip one more time, cooking for 3 more minutes over low heat. Now repeat the flip on final time to get the presentation side facing the bottom of the pan. Using a clean plate, flip the tortilla out so the pretty side is up.
  7. It tastes best if you let it rest for an hour before serving.


6 comments on “Spanish Tortilla or Tortilla de Patata”

  1. This looks like a fantastic Sunday evening meal, so simple yet so nourishing. Another great cookery book that I would have missed had it not been for you. Beautiful Elizabeth. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Ev! I grew up enjoying a good Tortilla. It is indeed nourishing and comforting. The full book review is coming up and hope you will like it, as much as I did. Welcome back from gorgeous Lake Jozini and catching Tiger fish! Spectacular post, photograph and unforgettable moments. Keep in touch! I will do so too! xo 🙂

  2. Beautiful tortilla de patatas! I love the story and the pictures! Whenever in Spain or Basque Country for that matter, tortilla de patatas is always the first choice for lunch! I am coming from the country where potatoes are the base of the cuisine, that is why this applies to me so much. Still, I need to make a proper tortilla de patatas myself. Thank you so much for the inspiration! Xoxo, Lilia 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Lilia! So glad to hear it! I’m sure the quality of your local potatoes must be unmatched. I love them all! Maybe one day we could do a tortilla either here in Seattle or in your region. Would love that! Thank you for the Cinque Terre memories beautifully recounted through your lenses. Loved it! Have a restful weekend! xoxo 🙂

  3. Patatas are potatoes, I’m guessing. How would we serve it? As is or with something else? I love cook books that try to preserve the local cuisine. Thanks for introducing us to another new cook book.

    1. That’s correct, Ratna. Patatas are potatoes. Tortilla can be served as a pintxo (tapa) or with a tomato salad or any other side dish of your preference. There is not rule on what to serve along with Tortilla. We enjoy warm or cold and generally for dinner or a light lunch. Have a great weekend! Hugs. 😉

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