Leftover Love

July 16, 2010

True confession time.  I have a deep dislike of leftovers.  There.  I said it.  Randy would be happy to spend the rest of his life eating left over food out of plastic containers, but I would rather eat a plain bagel than last night’s dinner tonight.  Why?  I don’t know.  I have no good answer for you.  If forced, I still need to make something fresh – a crostini or a big salad – to negate the leftover-ness of the meal.

Leftover ingredients fall into a slight different category.  Bits and pieces that I can be creative with feel more like a challenge to me than drudgery.  As I do more catering, my refrigerator can, at times, have some pretty interesting things in it.  I did that party last Friday and then friends came over for dinner on Saturday.  I was thinking I wanted to keep things pretty simple after making appetizers for 25 people but, as usual, I got kind of carried away.  I started with the idea of making a Spanish tortilla for dinner using up the leftover potatoes pieces and Romesco sauce.  Soon a crostini with balsamic sauteed red peppers got added along with a green salad featuring watermelon, haloumi, and fennel.  And homemade white chocolate chocolate chip ice cream sounded like a terrific idea for a hot night.  Can simple food still be called simple if there are many different components?

Remember those chickpeas?  Remember that when I tasted them at Cantinetta they were the fresh kind?  Well, when I want to the store to buy the zucchini that I decided to add to the tortilla, my Whole Foods had fresh chickpeas.  What is a girl to do but buy them, painstakingly pop each one out of the skin while she should have been doing countless other kitchen tasks, quickly boil them and give them the olive oil, lemon juice, and Pecorino Romano cheese treatment?  {Moment of silence.}  Those things are so good.  Check out my bean section on the side bar to your right and you will see that I love me some chickpeas.  Fresh is a whole different animal.  I mean really different.  Fresh they taste more like a pea than a bean and they are tremendous as a garnish on this tortilla.

This is a non-traditional way of making a tortilla because the potatoes are already cooked and I just served it right from the pan rather than turning it out.  I know this.  Please don’t sic the tortilla police on me.

Tortilla with Potatoes and Grilled Zucchini
Dana Treat Original
Serves 6

2 medium zucchini, cut into thirds lengthwise
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cup potato trimmings or cooked slices of potato
10 eggs
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned

Preheat a grill to high.  Place the slices of zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, a healthy pinch or two of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Place each slice on the grill and cook, until grill marks appear, turning once.  Make sure the zucchini are tender but not mushy.  Remove and allow to cool.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF with the rack in the middle position.  Heat a large cast iron skillet, or other oven-proof pan over medium-low heat.  Drizzle olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl then give them a good whisk.  Add in the potatoes, zucchini, ¼ cup of the Pecorino Romano, the basil, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Carefully whisk the mixture together and then pour it into the pan.  Cook slowly, occasionally scooping up the edges of the tortilla to let some of the raw egg seep around the edges of the pan.  You don’t want to stir it and you don’t want to cook it so fast that the bottom gets brown.  Turn down the heat as necessary.

When the edges are looking set but the middle is still runny, scatter the remaining Pecorino Romano over the top and place the pan in the oven.  Bake until the middle is set, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Carefully remove the pan from the oven (it will be extremely hot) and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Slice it into wedges and serve topped with Romesco sauce.  (And fresh chickpeas if you are lucky enough to find them.)


  1. This looks great! Definitely going to give it a try soon.

    Comment by Katie @ goodLife {eats} — July 16, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

  2. Looks amazing! Oh how I wish I could eat eggs. I miss out on so much good stuff ;)

    Comment by brooke — July 17, 2010 @ 1:13 am

  3. Ok, now I’m so on the hunt for fresh chickpeas! Great use of all your leftovers too!

    Comment by Jacqui — July 17, 2010 @ 3:26 am

  4. I have to say I’m a total leftover addict. I love making new things…but when they turn out well I also really love having leftovers. Your tortilla looks fantastic! I love how you used old and new components.

    I’m not gonna lie, fresh chickpeas sound downright dreamy. And totally worth the time.

    Comment by Joanne — July 17, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  5. I’m totally the opposite, I LOVE leftovers! But that’s only because then I don’t have to cook haha. I hope to come across some fresh chickpeas soon! This tortilla looks so good.

    Comment by Ashley — July 19, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  6. Bleck leftovers are not for me either. So I usually pack a lunch for someone makes both of us happy!

    Comment by beth — July 20, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

Leave a comment