Fantastically easy, egg-free omelette tarted up with green olive tapenade and vegetables, including optional green vegetable powder. Delicious warm or cold for breakfast, brunch, lunchbox and dinner. Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
A proper Spanish omelette – or the Italian version, frittata – is one of those staple dishes that everyone should have under their belt. It’s cheap, nourishing, quick, and makes great leftovers.
Spanish omelettes are also ripe for riffing on. They positively welcome leftover, past-their-best vegetables. Soft courgettes? Slice ’em on in. Spare roasted cauliflower? In you go. Bendy asparagus? You know what to do. I personally love adding cooked-down spinach, turmeric and nigella seeds. And here are two of my favourite frittatas (including little muffin-sized ones) that I play with throughout the summer and autumn.
I make variations of Spanish omelettes all the time for work. A new Portuguese colleague says they are her favourite of everything of mine she’s eaten so far. I was surprised as they seem so work-a-day to me. And honestly, I really wanted her to crush on something a bit more flash, like my Baked Ratatouille Tian. But I can see the appeal. Sauteed potatoes and onions are a pretty heady combination – no matter where they end up. You can even do a lower-carb version with beans in place of the potatoes. Or go the other way and use leftover pasta in place of the potatoes.
But what if you don’t have eggs in the fridge, or don’t eat eggs? Maybe you are vegan or allergic to eggs. Should you be denied the delights of an omelette? I think not.
I stupidly thought I was being vaguely original with this idea, but a cursory look on Google revealed just over 300k results. That’s a lot of vegan Spanish omelettes being enjoyed. Some contain tofu, but as I love soccas so much (my recipe index is full of them) I wanted to make these vegan frittatas with chickpea flour.
Why use chickpea flour?
Made from dried and ground chickpeas, this high protein, lower calorie, low glycemic load, no gluten flour has a wonderful texture in batter mixes. I also use it to make protein-packed flatbread crackers (I swap out the stipulated rye for chickpea). You won’t want to make slicing bread from it though. Nor eat it raw – yuck!
As a thin batter it makes lacy, crispy-edged pancakes (extremely more-ish). As a thicker batter it is the basis for yummy pakoras and bhajis. And it is a great egg doppelgänger in omelettes. One thing to note: it is rarely called chickpea flour. You will see it as besan, garbanzo flour, gram (NOT graham) flour, farina di ceci, farine de pois, but rarely as chickpea flour. I don’t know why. This tip may save you a lot of head-scratching. 🙂
To get the requisite eggy flavour it is necessary to use something called kala namak, or black salt. I couldn’t easily find it at the store but I must say that I didn’t miss the egginess. And I doubt any vegan would either. But if you have some, add a pinch to the batter. For me it is about the texture, the onions and potatoes.
This was a huge hit with Andrew, as smeared with green olive tapenade and strewn with green things, and just plain. Use this recipe as a jumping off point for your own ideas.
How will you make this vegan Spanish tortilla your own?
Vegan Spanish Omelette
Despite the list of ingredients (many of them optional), this is a quick and easy vegan omelette to enjoy hot or cold. It’s great for lunchboxes and is very picnic and beach friendly. Lovely with a dollop of ketchup too! Top tip: this is much easier to get out of the pan if you use a smaller cooking pan. Either have two pans on the go or do them one at a time. For a thicker omelette, use one medium pan. xx
120g (1 cup) chickpea flour (also called besan or gram flour – see above the recipe)
230ml (1 cup) warm water
1 tbsp ground chia seeds or flax seeds
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (more if not using kala namak, below)
1/8 tsp kala namak – optional
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp ground broccoli and kale sprout powder or similar – optional
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small-medium red or brown onion, peeled and sliced
4-6 boiled and cooled new/waxy potatoes*, sliced or broken up
Topping ideas (pick and mix)
green olive and coriander tapenade or other tapenade/pesto of choice
thinly sliced courgette/zucchini and broccoli (sauteed if you like)
sliced sugar snap peas
sliced and massaged kale
torn soft herbs
*cooked and cooled potatoes have resistant starch, which is good for gut function and massively lowers potatoes’ glycemic load.
Mix together the batter ingredients and set aside.
Heat the oil over a medium flame in one or two small-medium, well-seasoned or non-stick and oven -proof saute pan(s). Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and saute slowly, pushing them around as they cook. When they are softened and lose their rawness, add the potatoes. Let them heat up, turning once.
Pour in the batter (it’s thick) and use a wet metal spoon to spread it to the sides of the pan(s). Cook until bubbles appear – about three minutes. Meanwhile, heat your broiler/overhead grill. Broil about 4-5 inches from the coils until dry on top.
Slide a silicone spatula underneath and loosen and then invert onto a plate or wooden chopping board. Spread the tapenade or pesto over and load up on the veggies and leaves, herbs or whatever you have. Spritz on some lemon juice and drizzle over a little olive oil- garlic olive oil is great.
Cut and serve with a green salad and fresh bread.
**Remember to follow me on Pinterest and, if you make my Vegan Spanish Omelette, click on the pin below and leave a photo of your make with a comment telling me what you think, or any awesome changes that you made. Whether on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or of course here on the blog, I love to see what you do with my recipes, and I welcome your comments, tweaks and suggestions.**
RIPE FOR PINNING