At this time of year, no one really wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking dinner, and often my own kids don’t look hungry. Hot days are often filled with bowls of strawberries, ice cream and plenty of drinks to cool down. These extra snacks often mean that no one feels able to eat much, that is, until they smell dinner cooking.
During the summer months, I find myself cooking old reliable dishes. Healthy and quick meals to prepare with just a few ingredients that everyone will love. Using leftovers from a previous dinner adds bonus points.
Spanish tortillas are one such dish. Whenever I have leftover roasted vegetables they are added, or a solitary zucchini, a handful of mushrooms, or leftover boiled potatoes. I love new potatoes, it’s such a comfort food. Washed then boiled, with a few sprigs of mint in the cooking water. Butter and salt are enough to serve a large bowl of potatoes on the table.
My paternal grandfather was a potato farmer, and my very first job was as a potato picker. I think I was about 12 and saving up all summer for my very first pair of Levi jeans. I’m always so nonchalant around St. Patrick’s Day when my own dad tells me to plant potatoes. I still plan to plant some, and I only remember the moment he hands me a bucket of his own perfect potatoes, freshly picked from the garden. It’s like magic.
My best advice is that when you buy a bag of Wexford queens or your own locally grown potatoes, make sure you cook the whole 2kg bag. Leftover new potatoes are such a blessing. They can be cut into bite-size pieces and tossed with mayonnaise and chives for an instant potato salad, or you can fry them in oil or roast them in the oven in thick slices to make roast potatoes. fast.
My kids love them in this classic Spanish tortilla. It’s best if they’re slightly firm for this, so just cut them into thick slices when cool and move on with the recipe. I love the sweetness of the caramelized onion relish in this simple dish. I use a red onion relish made here in Cork by Folláin. It uses black garlic and balsamic vinegar for a slightly sweet sticky tang despite having no added sugar. Instead, they use apples and grape juice. It is widely available across the country.
This tortilla is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner with a big green salad, but is just as delicious for breakfast.
Recipe: Potato tortilla and caramelized onions