Tortilla de Lechuga
Region: Spain, Andalusia
Difficulty: Easy and Quick
Lettuce was considered a common, poor people's food in sixteenth-century Spain. Even in the anonymous picaresque story Lazarillo de Tormes, Lazarillo tells of his service to his fifth master, one who sold papal indulgences and who he thought the most shameless person he had ever seen. He would first, when selling the indulgences, give the priests and other clergy a few little presents. "They weren't worth much, some Murcian lettuce, if they were in season, couple of limes and oranges, peaches, and a big pear." This very simple frittata called tortilla de lechuga is made only with lettuce and eggs and is lightly seasoned. Because of the simplicity of this tapa, you will want to pair it with richer dishes to serve.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 Boston head lettuce
6 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, then plunge the whole head of lettuce in and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain well, squeezing the water out, and chop, leaves, stems, and all.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and paprika together and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped lettuce. Spread the softened butter over the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round preferably earthenware casserole, then pour the egg mixture in and bake until the top is set and a skewer pushed to the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cut into squares and serve hot or warm.
This tortilla is usually cut into 1-inch squares and served as a tapa.