This classic Spanish omelette is a recipe that deserves a place in any cook’s repertoire.
The caramelized onion is utterly delicious, making a beautiful contrast with the richness of the eggs — while the vibrant spinach lightens the whole dish and the sautéed pine nuts contribute their luxurious nuttiness.
But no matter how tantalizing the ingredients, the most important thing with a good tortilla, at least in my book, is that it be moist. Inverting the tortilla and cooking the second side for only seconds will guarantee a beautiful result — worth both the trouble and the slight shakiness of your hand if you’ve never attempted the maneuver before.
This spinach tortilla is ideal for lunch or a light dinner, served with a simple side of crisp greens. But I love serving it tapas style as well — where it is equally delectable warm and at room temperature.
In a pot, bring 6 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. When the water is boiling, add the salt and the spinach, pushing them down so that all the leaves are submerged in the boiling water.
Boil for 30 seconds. (The leaves should be bright green.) Drain and transfer to the bowl filled with ice water. When the spinach is completely cooled, drain, squeeze out all the extra liquid, and lay on paper towels. Chop the spinach roughly, separate the leaves, and place in a bowl.
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until pale-golden, about 5-6 minutes. Add the pine nuts and sauté for 2 more minutes until the pine nuts are golden. Add the garlic and cayenne. Toss well and sauté for 30 more seconds.
Add the spinach and ¼ teaspoon salt, toss again, and transfer to a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and remaining salt. Season with pepper, to taste. Whisk vigorously a few times until barely mixed. Add the onion-spinach mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.
Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour the egg-spinach mixture into the pan. Shake the pan vigorously for a few seconds so the eggs line the pan evenly. Continue to sauté for 1 minute undisturbed and then reduce the heat to medium.
Continue sautéing until the eggs are firm on the edges but still wobbly in the center and the bottom is golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Invert the tortilla unto a plate and slide it back into the pan to cook the other side. Continue cooking until the bottom is just set, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.