Williams-Sonoma’s title, Rustic Spanish: Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking, features more than 100 easy-to-follow authentic Spanish dishes tailored for the home cook. Recipes include both traditional favorites and contemporary fare, along with suggested wine pairings and ingredient guides.
I enjoy Williams-Sonoma cookbooks – and one of the things that I love almost as much as cookbooks is shopping at Williams-Sonoma. I tell my husband I want to be buried there and he jokingly (I believe) says keep up the spending and you will be.
Paul Richardson, the author of Rustic Spanish, has been residing in Spain since 1989 and during that time he has gathered a considerable wealth of knowledge in Spanish cuisine through friends, observing cooks and, of course, eating the local dishes. He has come to learn that Spanish cuisine has a depth and variety to rival that of Italy or France.
Rustic Spanish begins, logically, with Starters sharing recipes for Mixed Tapas, Patatas Bravas, Cádiz-style Shrimp Fritters and Croquettes with Chicken and Ham. If every meal could be small plates or tapas, I’d be a happy woman. Accordingly, most of the recipes in the first chapter call to me. Soups & Salads are next with such a lovely assortment of comfort in a bowl – Butternut Soup with Pimentón, Basque Leek and Potato Stew, Castilian Garlic Soup and Lemon Mojo which looks to die for. Eggs, Pasta, Rice and More shares recipes for Ravioli Stuffed with Torta del Casar Cheese, Migas as well as the Tortilla Espaňola that we are sharing with you today.
The remaining chapters are divided as follows – Seafood, Poultry & Meat, Sides and Sweets with an incredible variety of dishes to give our weeknight meals an international touch as well as recipes for weekend entertaining. Turkey & Pine Nut Meatballs in Saffron Broth, Pork Chops with Peaches, Basque Almond Cookies and a Cheese & Mint Tart are all calling my name.
For this review, I made the Tortilla Espaňola. The instructions were easy and fool-proof even with me being in a bit of a rush. I did alter the recipe to keep the onions and leeks separate so that my husband who is anti-allium would not be performing surgery on the tortilla during dinner.
I sautéed the onions and leeks and set them aside to top the tortilla when finished which I thought looked lovely and was a great idea for when you have guests who might not enjoy onions.
And when I flipped the tortilla in the pan, I cried that it turned out so perfectly – as least perfectly in my world – it wasn’t on the floor but nestled right back in the pan to finish setting up. As I am writing this review, I am eating a slice and, even cold, it is delicious. It’s the perfect dish for a party as it can be served hot, warm or room temperature.
Rustic Spanish is a fun introduction to delicious Spanish cuisine and is approachable for cooks of any level. Special thanks to Weldon Owen for sharing the Tortilla Espaňola recipe with our readers.
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- 1 cup (250 ml) olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 lb (1 kg) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into slices 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
- 6 large eggs
- In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, heat the 1 cup (250 ml) olive oil. Add half of the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and fry, turning occasionally, until the slices are tender but not browned, 15–20 minutes.
- Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the potatoes to a colander placed over a bowl. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Leave the oil in the pan.
- In another frying pan over medium heat, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and leek and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and the leek tender, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Using a slotted spoon, add the onion and leek. Fold in the cooked potatoes. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb some of the egg.
- Pour off all but 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) of the oil from the large frying pan and place it over low heat. Pour in the vegetable-egg mixture. Cook until the bottom of the omelet is set and golden brown, 8–10 minutes, shaking the pan regularly to avoid sticking. Invert a large round platter on top of the pan, invert the pan and plate together, and lift off the pan.
- Slide the omelet back into the pan and return it to low heat. Cook until the second side is set,
- about 4 minutes.
- Invert the tortilla again onto a plate. Wipe away any smears of oil from the edge of the plate with paper towels. Let it stand until slightly cooled, at least 10 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve hot or at room temperature.
- Wine suggestion: a richly fruity, velvety Ribera Del.
©2016 Paul Richardson - Recipe reprinted courtesy of Weldon Owen.
Editor’s note: This recipe is printed courtesy of the publisher. The author of this review received a copy of the cookbook, Rustic Spanish: Simple, Authentic Recipes for Everyday Cooking. No other compensation was received from the publisher. Links to the cookbook are affiliate links.
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