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Tortilla Española with Garlic Aioli


For the Tortilla:

3 palm-sized Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 yellow onion
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 pinches of kosher salt
7 eggs, free-range if possible

For the Aioli:

2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 squirts Dijon mustard
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1–2 pinches salt
1–2 dashes white wine vinegar


Tortilla Preparation:

Peel potatoes and slice each one in half. Working lengthwise, cut each halved potato into uniformly thin slices, thin enough that if you hold up a slice, it goes limp. 

Pat the slices dry on a paper towel before placing them into a 9-inch frying pan. Fill the pan almost to the brim with the olive oil, turn the heat to medium and cook for about five minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, cut the onion into slivers and set aside. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk vigorously with the salt. Turn the potatoes down to low and add onion slices to the pan. Use a spatula to make certain the potato isn’t sticking to the frying pan and that the onion is submerged in the oil. Cook for 5–7 minutes and then very carefully strain the contents of the frying pan. You can collect the oil you strain and use it for future cooking if you would like.

After straining, allow everything to cool for about five minutes, then add the cooked potatoes and onion to the bowl of eggs. Mix everything together.

Wipe the frying pan clean and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the egg mixture into the frying pan and return to low heat. Babysit the egg mixture with the spatula, making certain contents don’t stick and that the eggs don’t burn. Work the spatula around the edge of the frying pan every minute or so until the tortilla is mostly firm, but slightly runny on top.

To flip and cook the other side of the tortilla, slide it out of the frying pan and onto a plate. Wipe frying pan and re-spray with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully invert the frying pan and press it down over the plated tortilla. When it is secure and snug, quickly and confidently flip it into the pan. 

Remove the plate and finish the tortilla in the frying pan over low heat until it is firm. Allow to cool thoroughly in the pan before removing and slicing as you like. We cut ours into bite-sized pieces at the restaurant, but in Spain, you’ll mostly find wedges. Serve with fresh chopped herbs, a dusting of paprika and garlic aioli.

Aioli Preparation:

Find a bowl with tall sides and add everything except the vegetable oil. Add conservative amounts of Dijon, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt. You can add little bits of each later in the process as you go along. 

With an immersion blender, blend the contents, ever so slowly adding drops of the vegetable oil. As the aioli thickens and takes form, you can add the oil a little bit quicker. Taste and tweak as needed until the aioli is bright and packs a subtle garlic punch.


Recipe by Parador