Monday, December 29, 2008
Vegan Spanish Omelet
The last vacation I took with my parents before enthusiastically fleeing the coop at age 19, was a trip to Spain in the summer of 1994. My parents, who had last been to Spain as young, hippie backpackers, were perhaps hit rather hard by the fact that they had somehow become middle aged suburbanites with two eye-rolling children in tow. No more dancing to Rod Stewart in the discos of Torremolinos. No more whatever else they got up to that I'd rather not think about. The only thing that seemed to be the same was the tortillas (a.k.a. Spanish Omelets) that they ate at almost every restaurant we visited. Never an egg enthusiast, I avoided the tortillas and instead developed an intense affection for gazpacho which remains with me to this day.
Recently, after drooling over a photo that accompanied a Spanish tortilla recipe in a British home magazine, I started thinking about how to veganize it. So I made an experimental tofu tortilla one night for dinner. I was worried that with all that tofu and all those potatoes, it might end up being, well, bland. Instead, it ended up being wildly delicious. The Man of Science, when digging in for seconds, asked, "This is going to be added to your repertoire, right?" I'll call that a success.
To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I made it again for breakfast on Boxing Day, trying desperately to remember what I'd done the first time. And again, delicious. Some of the ingredients were changed slightly, given that I'd run out of both roasted red peppers and tomatoes and had no desire to brave the icy outdoors to procure some more. I subbed in spinach and chopped sundried tomatoes and it was just as tasty.
Vegan Spanish Omelet
7 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 package silken tofu
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp each salt and pepper
¼ cup roasted red peppers
½ cup pitted black olives
1 tomato, sliced
1 tbsp dried basil
more salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until mostly tender
Fry onion in olive oil until tender, add boiled potatoes and fry for another minute or two.
With a blender or food processor, mix tofu, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper.
Place potato and onion mixture in a baking pan and pour tofu mixture over top.
Mix in olives and roasted red peppers.
Top with tomatoes, sprinkle basil and some salt and pepper over top.
Bake at 400 degrees for about one hour.
-This recipe is not low-cal by any stretch of the imagination. Dishes featuring oil, salt, and potatoes seldom are. This means I recommend eating it for breakfast and maybe going to a brisk walk afterwards to avoid feeling bogged down.
-A cast iron pan is really the way to go if you have one that is large enough. It means you can fry your onions, dump in your other ingredients, and slide the whole thing into the oven without a second thought.
-The finished product does not come out in nice, firm slices like a more eggy version might. In this case, though, form is happily sacrificed in the name of taste.