tortilla picnic

Living in Barcelona you seem to get a constant stream of eager visitors. This past weekend we decided to get our guests out of the city, we needed a change of air ourselves, and so we wandered north along the twisty highway of the Costa Brava. The weather was beautiful, a crisp fall day. Bright blue skies, toasted sun and a calm sea. We ate unremarkable Spanish pastries for a late breakfast in the little hamlet of Sant Pol del Mar. We sat on a little white wall that overlooked row boats pulled ashore, like beached seals warming their bellies in the sun and drank it all in while downing sweet tea from our little blue thermos.

The next stop was the more touristic Tossa del Mar. But it's not too bad, they've managed to pull the parking away from the beach here, so we found a terrace with a view of the water and so we had milky cafes as we looked at the passing tourists from behind our dark sunglasses.

The real road starts after Tossa. It winds back and forth up and down into every inlet created by the jagged coast. We had a place in mind, a little cove called Cala Giverola. During the season it's overrun by Germans who stay in the resort on the hill and come down to the pool and tennis courts by the sea.
However on an early November afternoon the place was deserted except for a few divers with their harpoons. We grabbed our packs and picked a spot right in the middle, right by the sea and started to unpack the food.

The simpler the better, especially when picnicking. And you have to make it Spanish to show off what you've learned. First, open your can of anchovy stuffed olives, bring out the tupper of sliced Manchego cheese - mmm, stinky, fuet (a nice dry sausage that has a bit of kick to it), sliced cucumber and tomatoes go along with it all. Don't forget to stop by the bakery in the morning to pick up some fresh baguettes that everyone can just tear apart over the blanket. The main focus of the meal however is the 'tortilla de patata'. It's such a simple dish, travels well, it fills you up and its mix of eggs, sauteed onion and salty potatoes is a sure crowd pleaser. The evening before when your doing all the other slicing chop up a pair of decent sized potatoes into small pieces. Put them in some salted water and let them cook. In the mean time slice half a medium onion and break four eggs into a bowl, beat with a fork, adding a bit of salt and milk. Once the potatoes are cooked drain them. Now, heat up a pan, make sure it's small so that the tortilla is thick! Put a decent bit of olive oil on the bottom and sautee the onions for a second, add the potatoes, give them a stir. Pour the eggs over everything making sure they get to the bottom, I did a bad job and so the edges crumbled when cut. put the heat on low, cover and let it sit there until the top is almost cooked. Once you see the tortilla is firm slide it out of the pan onto a plate, place the pan over it and flip the whole sandwich over. Now cook the other side, not nearly as long as the first one! And so after a few more minutes you get to flip the tortilla out, let it cool and cut into bite-size pieces! It's so easy.

It's perfect with pan con tomate, as an apetizer, as breakfast as an afternoon snack...
We loved it.