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Make this! Broad bean tortilla

This easy and authentic tortilla from Spanish chef José Pizzaro's new cookbook, The Spanish Home Kitchen, combines eggs, onions and broad beans in one of the best Spanish tortillas you'll try.

We have a saying in Extremadura: “iHabas en Abril empiezan y en Abril acaban!‘ (Broad beans start in April, and finish in April!’).

We mean that, for just that month, we have the best of the broad (fava) beans in Spain. The season is different in the UK, of course.

When the broad bean pods are as long as your little finger, they are ready for this recipe. Keeping the beans inside, give the whole pods a good wash under the fresh spring water fountain in your village (oh, ok, or under your tap at home), and they’re ready. Remember, you’re not taking the beans out of the pods at this tender age. Just slice the whole pod – and you do need to slice them very finely. They’re so good, so sweet and so yummy.

In Spain, you can get very young canned broad beans preserved in extra virgin olive oil. If you can get those, they would also work for this recipe: just be sure to drain them well (you can use their oil for dipping).


  • 150 ml (5 fl oz/scant ⅔ cup)
  • 1 onion, very finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 Ib 2 oz) baby broad
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • sea salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper


Pour 75 ml (2½ fl oz/5 tablespoons) of the olive oil into a large frying pan (skillet) over a low-medium heat and cook the onion for 10 minutes until really lovely and soft. Increase the heat to high and add the garlic and broad beans. Cook for 5 minutes until tender and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, then add the still-warm broad bean
mixture and plenty of seasoning.

Pour the remaining olive oil into an 18-cm (7-in) deep non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is hot, add the egg mixture. Swirl the pan until the mixture starts to set around the edges, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the tortilla just starts to set, so the bottom and sides are golden, but the middle is still quite loose.

Cover the pan with a flat lid or board and turn the tortilla carefully on to it. Don’t worry that it is still quite runny: it will all come back together when you continue to cook it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and. over a low heat, use a spatula to tuck the edges under to give it the characteristic curved look.

Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn on to a board and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. It should still be lovely and juicy in the middle when you cut into it.

José Pizarro The Swan Inn, 2 Hare Lane, Claygate, KT10 9BS. Tel: 01372 462582

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