This is a recipe that I cooked for my mums 50th dinner party! I knew I was cooking a meat main course for my guests which I didn’t mind but I wanted something other than the side salads to be my main course, I decided on doing a tortilla because it is a perfect potato side dish to match the chicken I roasted and also it would be filling enough for me!
I’ve made plenty of tortillas over the years, usually a vessel for using up everything and anything that is in the fridge at the end of the week, but my favourite is still a simple potato, onion and garlic tortilla. I decided to add fennel for two reasons, one – it made it that extra bit special for the occasion, and two – my sister hadn’t tried fennel before and this was a perfect way to show it off!
I personally prefer cooked fennel to raw fennel due to the fact that it becomes mellow and sweet rather than sharp and aniseedy. It doesn’t over power the tortilla in anyway as long as you cook it down enough first.
This recipe brings back happy memories of being sat around the table by the pool in Spain tucking into a feast of salads, tortilla and tapas style dishes. Spain is where I learnt how to make tortilla and its now a staple recipe in my house :)
Gluten free, Vegetarian, Dairy Free
Warning: this recipe may make you want to stick a summer dress on and brave the cold for an alfresco lunch!
4 Large Potatoes
1 Fennel Bulb
1 Large Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
Salt and Pepper
Wash the potatoes then slice into 2cm thick slices (leave the skin on) and boil in a large pan for 5-6 minutes until soft to touch with a fork but not so it is easy to break apart. Once cooked drain and put to one side for a moment.
Thinly slice the onion and fennel, reserve the fennel fronds for decoration or to add to a side salad. In a large frying pan drizzle a little olive oil and on a medium heat and add the onion and fennel for 5 minutes then crush in the garlic, add the fennel seeds and a splash of water. Keep stirring these ingredients until everything is softened and juicy, approx 10 mins. You don’t want it to colour too much so a little trick is to add a small splash of water if it starts to brown, this slows the cooking slightly and cools everything down, just make sure the water has evaporated at the end.
Add the slices of potato to the pan and mix everything together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add a sprinkle of salt and a good grind of pepper and cook until the potatoes have crisped up a little bit, around 5-6 minutes.
Spread everything around the pan so that it is evenly distributed and make sure the potato slices are flat (or at least that the top is even and smooth).
Crack the eggs into a jug or bowl and beat them well, then pour the eggs over the potato and fennel mix and using your wooden spoon gently push down through gaps in the potatoes to allow the egg to get in between everything.
Turn your grill on to a medium heat.
Cook the tortilla on the hob, gently giving everything a nudge every now and then to cook it evenly, for 4- 5 minutes until you can see that most of the egg is set. Transfer the pan to under the grill and finish it off for 2-3 minutes until the egg is completely set and the top is golden grown.
Turn out onto a large plate and allow to cool then slice it into 6 pieces.
You can make this in advance and then serve it cold or you can reheat it in the grill or the oven. This is perfect served with a red pepper and ricotta sauce (recipe coming soon)