The ‘Tortilla’, more properly known as ‘Tortilla Espagnole’, made with potatoes, may be the most famous and most popular tortilla in Spain, but it’s not the only one.
They are also often made with pimiento (red pepper), calabacín (zucchini) and espárragos (asparagus).
We had this one as a first course… In Spain it would be cut into small pieces and served as a tapa or tucked into a baguette for a sandwich (bocadillo).
Tortilla de Espárragos (Asparagus Frittata)
Total time: 25 minutes
- 5oz (150gr) green asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ ) 2.5cm) pieces
- 3 eggs
- 2 green garlic, thinly sliced, including greens
- 2 tbs fresh, snipped chives
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbs shredded Parmesan
- Bring a medium saucepan half full of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes.
- Drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water.
- Drain again and lay out on paper towels to dry.
- Whisk eggs, cheese and chives together.
- In medium nonstick skillet (8″. 20cm) heat 1 tsp oil.
- Add green garlic and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the blanched asparagus and warm.
- Combine the eggs and the asparagus, mix well.
- Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium heat.
- Pour in the egg mixture and let cook, undisturbed, until brown on the bottom and dry on top..
- Turn – either by flipping or quickly with a large spatula
- Brown the other side
- Cut into quarters and serve.
It would also be perfect for a picnic.
Nothing more clearly defines a culture than food: kinds of food, dining hours, eating habits, etc. This is never more obvious here than in warm weather.
The French are a very orderly people. They are not given to change easily and are somewhat leery of trying new things. (I brought Boston Baked Beans to a village picnic, once, thinking they might like a taste of traditional American picnic fare…some of the younger crowd very gingerly took a tiny spoonful.)
They also like things to be done properly.
In schools, all over France, at 12:30 the children sit down to a proper, 3 course lunch. No grabbing food out of a vending machine for them.
So, it is only natural that at 1:00, along the highways and byways of France, you will find the French drivers pulled off to the side of the road. The trunk opens, table and chairs come out and are setup roadside, followed by the tablecloth, napkins, plates and cutlery.
The wine is opened and poured while maman sets the food out. And we are not looking at simple sandwiches! Maman has probably been up since dawn getting everything ready. There will be country pate and bread, followed by salads and heartier fare and finished with a fresh tart of pears or apples. Coffee from a thermos rounds out the meal.
Everyone sits and enjoys a leisurely lunch…amid the fumes of passing traffic. An hour later, after a proper rest to let things digest, it is all packed up and the journey continues.
In Spain there is a somewhat different approach, although they take their food equally seriously.
After at least two stops for ‘a coffee’ plus one longer one for second breakfast: a bocadillo (sandwich), often stuffed with a tortilla and a glass or two of wine, they will search for a roadside restaurant, of which there are many.
They’ll pull into to a likely spot around 2:00 and have a proper lunch: lots of food, wine and conversation. (I read once that, while Spaniards will drink all day long you will never see one drunk!). Around 3:30 or 4:00 they are back on the road. If it wouldn’t be for the fact that they drive very, very fast they would never get anywhere.
And for us?
Sometimes I’ll make a lunch, although I pass on the table and chairs…. There are picnic tables as waysides and we’ll drive until we find one.
Or we’ll buy a sandwich from a bakery.
Or find a pizza restaurant – can’t be good all the time.