There’s an expression in Spanish ‘como agua en mayo’, for something that comes as a happy relief, be it water to soak dry fields, money or for me an exciting new recipe, ‘Vegan tortilla!’ As regulars at ‘La Ola Fresca’ will know, it has become my favourite Spring delight but it is great for summer too. By way of a little industrial espionage, I discovered the recipe at the lively and always tasty ‘La Paca’ bar (in El Cabanyal-El Canyamelar) followed by a bit of investigating online. Sorry to say, chickens, but I prefer these vegan versions… for both the tortilla and the mayonnaise! What’s more, replacing the eggs for uber-healthy chickpea flour (gram/harina de garbanzo) will help cut down cholesterol levels and it contains minerals, fibre and proteins. It also results in a remarkably eggy consistency. As with a normal Spanish tortilla, you can make any variety you like. Possibly you have experienced Spanish people can talk at length as to whether the pungent onion should be included or not? Well, I vote for yes! With this one I have stuck to a basic potato tortilla with a touch of Pimienta de la vera (paprika) for seasoning and sundried tomatoes. It could also be interesting with Anise. What more can I say… you’ve got to try it!
Extra virgin olive oil
800 grams or 28 oz potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
5 Sundried tomatoes rehydrated with boiling water
Pinch of Pimienta de la vera (paprika)
16 tablespoons of chickpea flour aka “gram”
16 tablespoons water (+ 1 cup hot water for cooking potatoes)
Salt to taste
Veganesa (vegan mayonnaise)
1 cup unrefined sunflower oil (220 g)
½ cup unsweetened soy milk (120 g)*
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Sea salt to taste
* Add crushed garlic / tomato paste if you wish
First, prepare the potatoes. Peel and slice. Some prefer their potatoes thinly-sliced, some thick. What is important is they are all roughly the same size, so they take the same time cooking. I prefer towards the thin size. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a rounded frying pan about 23cm 9 inches diameter and place over gentle heat. When hot, add the sliced potatoes with a goodly dose of salt. I think it is all the more tasty if the potatoes are a little caramelized, but do turn them every so often. When they are starting to dry out, add about enough boiling water to cover (about 1 cup) and continue turning. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
Chop the onions and in a bowl start to measure the ‘gram’ flour. Add the seasonings and mix well. Then add the measured water. In about 20 minutes, the potatoes should be well cooked and starting to disintegrate a little. Add the chopped onions to cook a little. Remove them from the pan and add to the chickpea mixture. Add the chopped rehydrated sundried tomatoes. Wash the pan and re-oil thoroughly.
Return the pan to a gentle heat with a little more oil and, when hot, add the mixture. This will cook much more quickly than a normal tortilla, so you need only between 5 and 10 minutes on either side. You can keep turning it using a plate and reshaping it each time so it is nicely rounded at the sides.
For the ‘Veganesa’ simply mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. Add seasoning to taste, plus a little garlic and tomato purée if you prefer a stronger taste.
Article copyright ‘La Ola Fresca’ / ’24/7 Valencia’