The inspiration for this Spanish spring dish comes from the very humble Tortilla Espanola.
By Mariela Alvarez Toro
The abundance of farm fresh leeks is overwhelming. Alongside onions, garlic, and shallots, they are the “it” item in farmers markets right now. Though favorites in everyday cooking, leeks seem too ordinary to make it the source of inspiration when making a dish. Asides from vichyssoise, can you think of any other dish in which the leek takes the leading role?
The inspiration for this dish comes from the very humble, Tortilla Espanola. This potato omelet is one of the only Spanish recipes I actually enjoy. While beautiful in its simplicity, eggs, potatoes, onions, and olive oil, I wanted to play with the ingredients I had at hand. The leeks bring a mild sweetness to the traditional recipe, the potatoes, texture and body, and the rosemary, a sweet herbaceous fragrance. Though I will not compete with the traditional recipe, I think it is perfect for this weather, light, delicious, and fresh.
And while I will patiently continue to await springs delicacies (Asparagus, where are you?); I will leave you with this.
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 4 small potatoes, thinly sliced
- 3 eggs
- several rosemary leaves
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cumin
- 2 TBSP (30ml) olive oil
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Thinly slice potatoes and leeks.
- In a small-medium saucepan heat half the olive oil.
- Add leeks and cumin.
- Slowly cook over low heat until soft and caramelized.
- In another pan add half a cup of water with a pinch of salt.
- Add the potatoes to the water and boil until al dente.
- Drain potatoes and transfer into the saucepan.
- Sauté into the leeks with rosemary and fresh ground pepper.
- Add remaining olive oil and cook for another five minutes, until slightly golden.
- Add whisked eggs into the pan, keeping the temperature at low.
- Cover and cook for approximately ten minutes, or until eggs have completely cooked.
- Transfer to a plate.
- Slice and eat at room temperature.
Recently graduated with from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has recently completed "People in Food-Space", an ethnographic study on the cultural production of taste in space. She has also examined post-soviet food production systems and housing projects in Havana, Cuba. Originally from Puerto Rico, Mariela has been living in the United States for eight years. She has involved herself in both teaching and practice, while writing on food at tastyplan.com. Her goal as a food writer is to cook creatively, using the best ingredients to find new flavor combinations every day.