Dinner Date

Food and Wine for the Season

Wine bottle photo by Aaron Roseli. All other photos courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Spanish Tortilla with Spring Vegetables

Fresh From the Farmers’ Market by Janet Fletcher; photos by Victoria Pearson

(Chronicle Books, 2008, $19.95)

  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus up to 1 additional tablespoon
  • 1 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cooked English peas (about 1/2 pound unshelled peas)
  • 1/2 cup peeled fava beans

Heat 4 tbsp. olive oil in a 12- to 14-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Add potatoes, season highly with salt and pepper and sauté, tossing often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes in a sieve set over a bowl. (If you have only a smaller nonstick skillet, fry the potatoes in two batches, using 2 tbsp. oil each time.)

Return skillet to moderate heat and add 1 tbsp. olive oil. When hot, add leeks, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with seasonings. Cover, reduce heat to moderately low and cook until leeks are tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, potatoes, leeks, peas and fava beans. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, then let stand for 10 minutes.
Measure oil drained from potatoes, if any. Add enough olive oil to make 1 tablespoon. Heat a 10-inch skillet over high heat. When hot, add oil. When oil is hot, add egg mixture, spreading it into an even layer. It will bubble vigorously around the edges. Immediately lower heat to moderately low and cook 10 minutes. The omelet will still be underdone on the surface. Invert a cookie sheet over the skillet. Grasping the skillet handle with one hand and holding the cookie sheet in place with the other, flip the skillet so the tortilla falls onto the cookie sheet. Immediately slide it back into the skillet, cooked side up. (Some moist bits of egg may stick to the cookie sheet; that’s okay.) Cook an additional 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Let stand at least 20 minutes before serving. Serves 4 as a lunch dish, 6 as an appetizer.


URSA VINEYARDS TANNAT 2006

The Tannat variety originated in the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains, which are the natural border between Spain and France. It is common to that area and also South America. The variety has made its way to California and there are currently a number of wineries here in our area growing and producing Tannat; Ursa Vineyards of Placerville is one such winery.

Owners Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray produce Ursa Vineyards Tannat 2006 humbly, with much attention to detail in their small Foothills winery. The wine shows classic robust varietal character, reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon with layers of red berry fruit and balanced present tannins. It goes well with Basque and Spanish fare, as well as most meat dishes. It is also well suited for those who enjoy savoring a full-bodied wine.

Rick Mindermann
Rick is Store Director of Corti Brothers in Sacramento, personal assistant to Darrell Corti, and  “The Good Taste Guy” for oodleboxtv.com.

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