I sometimes find that I still miss eggs. It’s not actually about the eating an egg , it’s about what the egg brings to the dish. It’s that savoury “something” that an egg brings a dish together and binds all the ingredients into a form that you slice, dice, wedge or cube.
This versatile batter let’s me create plant-based versions of foods I used to love, those gluten free vegetarian options, the frittata, tortilla or kuku. It is naturally gluten free, but is not a recent invention, traditionally used in dishes such as farinata, socca, or panisse, plus in many others too, back a long time through the centuries, appearing in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and South America.
Now filed in my category of “plant-based essential recipes” this inexpensive and easy to make basic batter recipe can be made to taste more “umami” with the addition of a few other ingredients. Add some caramelised red onions and cooked diced potato and you have a delicious, Spanish-inspired, potato & red onion vegan tortilla. Perfect for summer picnic, cubed for tapas or a part of a packed lunch.
This mixture fits a 23cm frying pan.
- 200g chickpea flour
- 400ml cold water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- sunflower oil
- 400g waxy potato – peeled, diced and cooked
- 1 medium red onion – thinly sliced and sautéed to carmelise in oil or stock
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
In a mixing bowl combine chickpea flour, onion powder, nutritional yeast, sea salt and water. Blend with a stick blender until smooth and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
I prefer to make mine the night before, add the baking powder quickly blend again. You can make a large mixture and keep a mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days, only add baking powder when you are about to cook.
Peel and cube the potato.Cook by bringing a pot of cold salted water to the boil, remove from heat and drain. The potato cubes should be just cooked but still firm.
To caramelise onions, heat enough sunflower oil to your pan to coat the base over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt to help them release water. Stir frequently so they don’t stick or burn, add white balsamic vinegar and cook until the onions are soft and lightly coloured. Season to taste.
White balsamic vinegar will enhance the colour of the red onions, it has a more subtle (lighter) flavour than a traditional balsamic vinegar. Of course, other varieties will work too.
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Add enough sunflower oil to a heavy based frypan to coat it, make sure you coat the sides too. You need your pan hot so the batter forms a crust immediately, the oil should be beginning to shimmer. Pour in about 1/3 of your mixture, spread half of the red onion and potatoes over the batter before pouring in more battered the remaining onion and potato, add the last of the batter
Turn down the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, when the tortilla is browned and set around the edges, put into the oven until it is cooked through. Let the tortilla cool in the pan before removing it.
For a no-oil tortilla, I recommend baking the tortilla in a silicone cake mould or a baking paper lined 23cm cake tin. For a no-oil option saute the red onions in stock – how to here .
Tasty sides and accompaniments could be: