Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Tortilla

I call this a tortilla because it is a great name that resounds quite well with the passel of teenage grandchildren and friends vacationing here with us on the river (especially if you roll the "r" and pronounce "tortilla" à la mexicaine).
I could have called it "aeggekage" (a flipped-over omelet which my children's Danish greatgrandmother used to make with a bit of flour and lots of chives), except that aeggekage doesn't sound nearly as much fun as tortilla.
It can be enjoyed hot, warm or cold, so that it can be eaten for lunch with a simple green salad or taken along on a picnic accompanied by juicy tomatoes.
Basically it is a kitchen-sink type of egg dish into which you throw whatever you want to clear out of the fridge and it consists of two layers (one starchy and one tomato-y).
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
For the first layer

  • 6 eggs
  • 5 baked unpeeled red potatoes, cut in small chunks
  • 1 small onion, chopped up
  • 1 inch of pepperoni sausage, cut in tiny pieces
  • 3 slices of left over herb-incrusted pork loin, cut in tiny pieces (ham could be used or any leftover chicken)
  • lots of chives
  • half a ladleful of sourdough starter (if no starter is available, use a bit of flour and some additional water or milk)
  • a dash of water or milk
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil (for cooking) 

For the second layer
6 eggs
some leftover unpeeled zucchini (washed, sliced and quickly baked for dinner the night before with olive oil and some crushed garlic)
1 small onion, chopped up
a handful of past their prime cherry tomatoes (obviously the tomatoes do not need to be past their prime but mine were and it was an excellent opportunity to use them), sliced in two lengthwise
some yellow, green and red small sweet peppers, seeded and sliced (mine came from Trader Joe's)
half a ladleful of sourdough starter (if no starter is available, use a bit of flour and some additional water or milk)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (if not available, parsley or chervil can be used)
some piment d'Espelette (if not available, paprika can be used), optional and to be used at the very end as piment d'Espelette should never be cooked)
salt and pepper olive oil, for cooking

  1. Drizzle some olive oil in a big frying pan and quickly fry the onion, the pepperoni and the pork
  2. Add the potatoes
  3. Slightly beat the eggs with the starter and some water or milk, salt and pepper
  4. When the potatoes are golden, gently pour the egg mixture over them, taking care to spread it evenly all over
  5. When almost completely set, flip the tortilla over (I use a big round plate which I place over the frying pan. I then quickly invert the frying pan over the plate before sliding the tortilla back into it) and continue cooking for barely a minute
  6. Slide onto a large plate and sprinkle generously with chopped chives
  7. Proceed as indicated above for the second tortilla (no need to wash the frying pan), i.e. quickly fry the onion, then add the zucchini and, a minute later, the tomatoes
  8. When the tomatoes look soft, add the egg mixture (eggs + starter + salt and pepper + some water)
  9. When almost completely set, add the cilantro and quickly flip the tortilla over
  10. Continue cooking for barely a minute
  11. Slide on top of the waiting potato layer and sprinkle with piment d'Espelette or paprika (if using)
  12. Watch your teenage crowd devour it but be sure to set some aside for yourself as it would be a pity to miss out on this summer treat.
The Summer Tortilla goes to Susan, from Wild Yeast, for Yeastpotting.


  1. What a interesting dish. Is the use of sourdough starter typical, or something you adapted? I love that you can use the kitchen sink here!

  2. The sourdough starter is my idea. It satisfies the need both for a thickener and a liquid. It actually makes the dish lighter and fluffier than just flour and water and since very little is used, there is no appreciable change in flavor. But it is entirely optional of course.

  3. O.K. I give up. YOU win the title of most unusual use for sourdough starter. I keep trying, but I will never be able to top this.

    The tortilla looks delicious!

  4. Sounds delicious. Can you tell me the weight equivalent of the sourdough starter "ladleful" used in each layer? I've tried two other recipes from your terrific blog and they were special.

    David Rosenblatt

  5. Hi David, thank you for your comment. I made that tortilla a while ago and I don't exactly remember. since I just came back from an extended trip, I don't have any active levain on hand either (just dried out nuggets), so I can't weigh anything, but I would estimate the weight at something like 40 or 50 g.



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