Tortilla time as new-season potatoes arrive

Understanding the seasonality of potatoes can help us appreciate them more

A Spanish tortilla keeps for 24 hours and is great for a picnic.

A Spanish tortilla keeps for 24 hours and is great for a picnic.

 

Potatoes must be chief among the foodstuffs that grow here that we take for granted. Not only are we now a net importer of potatoes, we fail to acknowledge their seasonality, expecting to see them in our supermarkets whenever we desire. Is it not time to rethink the seasonal nature of the humble spud, so that we may appreciate it more?

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, I have been getting a regular order of a box of vegetables from Beechlawn Farm in Ballinasloe. The potatoes that I get in the box each week are Orla, which is a new-season, slightly waxy spud that is quite versatile. Although too waxy for creamy mash, they are great for making chips or roast potatoes.

My favourite way of roasting new potatoes is to season them with cold-pressed rapeseed oil, sea salt and fresh rosemary and roast for 45 minutes, or until they caramelised and crunchy. Another great use for this type of potato is a Spanish tortilla, as they hold their structure nicely.

How to make a Spanish tortilla

Peel and slice 10 potatoes and place them in cold water while you slice the onions. You’ll need two sliced onions and 10 eggs. I usually deep fry my potatoes at 110 degrees Celsius but you can otherwise blanch them in boiling water until a knife passes through them.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with sea salt. Fry the onions on a low heat until they are translucent. Add the onions and potatoes to the egg mixture and season again with salt. The salt is important, so don’t skip this stage.

Oil a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, empty the contents into the pan and cook on a medium heat until the tortilla is nicely browned underneath, but not too much. Some people want no brown at all, so I’ll leave the heat up to you. Place a plate on top of the tortilla and flip it over. Cook the other side in the same manner. The tortilla keeps for 24 hours and is great for a picnic.

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