PABLO PICASSO’S OMELETTE A L’ESPAGNOLE (aka tortilla Espanola, Spanish omelet)

Size matters.  Picasso’s onions were likely about the size of a small orange.  The onions in supermarkets today are more like grapefruits.  And the same is true of potatoes.  Adjustments may be necessary when cooking from older recipes.

4 potatoes (if your potatoes are large, use only 2 or 3)

2 onions (if your onions are large, use only 1)

6 soupspoons (tablespoons) olive oil

10 eggs


freshly ground black pepper


1.  Peel the potatoes, wash them, cut them into slices and dry them carefully.  Peel the onions, slice them perpendicular to the bulb (cut the stem end and the bottom off of the onions, peel them, halve them vertically then, with the flat sides down, cut scant quarter inch slices). Heat them over a gentle flame with half the oil in a large saucepan (a 12 inch cast iron skillet works) until they are slightly golden.  Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often (to prevent sticking on the bottom).

2.  While they are cooking, break the eggs into a large salad bowl and beat them until they are foamy.  Take the potatoes and onions from the pan and drain them on a piece of paper to absorb the moisture.  Toss them in the salad bowl, salt and pepper them and mix it all together.

3.  Heat the rest of the oil in the pan and pour in the mixture from the salad bowl.  Let it cook over a medium flame until the bottom of the omelet takes and is golden (about 3 minutes).  Turn the omelet over (Make sure that your omelet is loosened from the pan on the bottom and around the edges, then put a large plate face down on top of the pan.  Holding the pan and the plate firmly together, flip the omelet over onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan browned side up).  Cook on the other side (about 3 minutes), keeping the inside runny.  Serve it with potatoes, hot or cold, cut into cubes (I don’t think this needs more potatoes….).

NOTE:   Directions in red are mine, those in black are Picassos.

adapted from Mary Ann Caws, The Modern Art Cookbook

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