Revolutionary Spanish “Omelet” with Saffron and Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce

Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (DaCapo Lifelong Books) Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes Cooling Time:  20 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 25 minutes

Revolutionary Spanish “Omelet” with Saffron and Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce

This is another wonderful recipe from Terry Hope Romero, and even though it’s an omelet, it makes a great entrée. She tells us, “If the anarchist revolutionaries in the Spanish Civil War had known about the magic of tofu, they would have made a traditional dish just like this. Or maybe it’s just my hopes for an egalitarian, nonauthoritarian society talking again. Known in Spain simply as a ‘tortilla,’ the thick, oven-baked omelet of eggs, potatoes, onions, and olive oil is found in virtually every café and can be eaten at any meal any time of day. Below is a liberatingly egg-free version—with the addition of saffron—that bakes up a beautiful golden yellow with the delicate flavor of the classic Spanish spice. The flavors improve with time so you can make it the night before and serve cold or at room temperature. Along with a dollop of Roasted Red Pepper–Almond Sauce and crusty bread, this tortilla of the Revolution is a sturdy meal that will carry you through many an anarcho-syndicalist collective workers’ meeting.”--Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Ingredients

Revolutionary Spanish Omelet:

A small pinch of saffron threads

3 tablespoons boiling water

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for spraying omelet

4 medium-size unpeeled Yukon gold potatoes, halved and sliced into ¼-inch slices (make sure they’re all the same thickness, to ensure even cooking)

1 medium-size onion, sliced into thin half-moons

1½ pounds soft tofu, drained

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

 

Roasted Red Pepper-Almond Sauce:

3 roasted red peppers, homemade or equivalent amount from a jar (see Notes from the Test Kitchen)

½ cup slivered almonds

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1½ teaspoons sugar

Salt to taste, optional

Instructions

  1. Place the saffron threads in a small cup and gently press the threads with the back of a spoon a few times; don’t crush completely. Pour the boiling water over the saffron; stir briefly, then set aside for a minimum of 25 minutes. The longer the saffron soaks, the more flavor and color will be released.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pour ¼ cup of the olive oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Add the potatoes and onion. The pan should not be completely full; there should be about ¼-inch of space left on top; remove some potatoes if it appears too full. Gently toss the onion and potatoes in the oil to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring on occasion, until the onion is very soft and the potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend all the ingredients, including salt to taste, in a food processor until thick and creamy. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside. Wash and dry the food processor well.
  4. In the food processor, blend until smooth the drained tofu, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Strain the saffron with a fine-mesh strainer and add the liquid to the tofu mixture along with salt and cayenne pepper. Blend until creamy.
  5. When the potato mixture is tender, remove from the oven. Pour the tofu mixture into the pan and gently fold the potato mixture into the tofu mixture. With a rubber spatula, smooth the top, making sure to make the center slightly more shallow than the outside; this will help ensure the center cooks evenly.
  6. Spray the top of the omelet with olive oil and return to the oven (see Notes from the Test Kitchen). Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is deep yellow and lightly browned in spots, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
  7. To cut, run a knife along the edges, pressing down on the omelet while slicing. To serve it real Spanish style you’ll need to remove it whole from the pan: put a plate on top of the pan and, with both hands securely holding pan and plate, flip the entire thing upside down. Put on a countertop and gently remove the pan—the finished omelet is oily enough so most of it should slide easily onto the plate. If you preferred the golden yellow side to be on top, simply flip again onto another plate.
  8. Excellent both warm and at room temperature. Serve as the Spanish do with ketchup (a good all-natural one worthy of revolutionaries) or with Roasted Red Pepper-Almond Sauce.

Kitchen Tips

Notes from the Test Kitchen

  1. Terry Hope Romero is a food writer who, like Isa Chandra Moskowitz, specializes in vegan cookery. The two have collaborated on a number of books, including Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Check out The Weiser Kitchen’s profile of Romero’s Vegan Eats World.
  2. You can make homemade roasted red peppers on a grill, gas stovetop, or in the oven. To grill your peppers, heat a grill to high heat. Rub each pepper with a little olive oil and place on the hottest part of the grill. Let the peppers grill, turning occasionally with tongs, until the skin blackens all around. If you prefer to roast them the night before, preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub each pepper lightly with a little olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until tender but not brown. If you have a gas stovetop, you can put the oiled peppers right on the grates of the hottest, highest flame you have and allow them to blacken all round, turning them occasionally with large tongs and working in batches as necessary. Whichever way you cook them, place the warm peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. Peel off the skin. Cut open and remove the stems and seeds. It’s fine if there is a little burned skin left on the peppers. Do not rinse them. Proceed as your recipe instructs.

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