I spent a good three hours of my day preparing one of my favorite meals for tonight’s dinner. Clockwise on the plate, beginning with that half-circle of goodness are, 1.) tortilla espanola [a.k.a. tortilla de patatas], 2.) pisto, 3.) manchego, 4.) baguette.
There is no way I’m going to sit here and type out the recipe/directions for creating a fine tortilla espanola, so I’ll just say that if you’re interested in making a really good, authentic one, go out and buy the cookbook The New Spanish Table and turn to page 139 and if you’re slow like me** in two hours you’ll have yourself a fine tortilla. Making the tortilla is what I consider an involved meal, so I don’t make it very often.
I like to serve my tortilla with a side of pisto- that sorta unappetizing-looking stuff there on the top right of the plate. The New Spnaish Table’s English definition of pisto is “Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Onion Jam”, similar to ratatoiuille but minus the eggplant. Apparently its most common use is as a mixed vegetable spread for bread or toast, but when I was studying and living in Segovia, pisto was always served alongside la tortilla espanola. It’s very easy to make- the only time consuming part is the vegetable chopping and the stove simmering. Again, if you’re interested in preparing it yourself, turn to page 29 of TNST.
Served with the above delicacies are the must-have bread and a little manchego cheese. It is absolutely essential that when devouring this meal you restrain yourself from eating all of the tortilla so that you can savor a tortilla bocadillo the next day. Really. To die for.
**I began prep for this meal at 3:00pm. We ate at 6:15pm. True, I had to take breaks to read stories, help someone use the bathroom, stroll around the block, clean up spilled bean bin, manage a time-out, feed a dog, etc. etc. …..BUT STILL. I consider this meal kinda involved since it took me 3+ hours of work to get it on the table.