Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spinach omelette, Gibraltar style

One of the most typical recipes in Gibraltarian cuisine is torta de acelgas, or spinach pie. Everyone has a slightly different take on this but in essence, it involves baking a mix of egg, spinach and cheese wrapped in pastry. Some people put boiled egg inside too, others ham. It’s all good.

I like to cheat making mine, primarily because my oven is on the blink and I haven’t got round to fixing it. It’s also quicker. I make it in a deep pan and the method is a bit like making a Spanish omelette. I use baby spinach leaves but you could use any other fresh type. It’s a fairly quick dish and simple to make.

The secret ingredient in Gibraltarian spinach pie is grated hard Edam, known round here as queso de bola because it’s bought in large round balls wrapped in distinctive red wax. It’s a Dutch cheese but I’ve never found it outside of Gibraltar. I don’t know why that is. If you can’t find it, any other hard and strong cheese will do. Parmesan, for example.

Here goes.

Spinach omelette

One kilo of baby spinach leaves
Four eggs
Four cloves of garlic
Grated hard Edam, or any hard, strong cheese
Dried basil
Salt
Pepper

Put a drop of oil in a pan and wilt the spinach leaves. Don’t overdo this, you don’t want a green sludge and it’s best to err on the side of less rather than more. Once you’ve done this, drain off any excess liquid and set aside.

Chop up the garlic and fry lightly in a little olive oil. While this is happening, beat the eggs in a deep bowl. Once the garlic is softened and starting to take on colour, pour them into the eggs and add the spinach. Mix thoroughly.

Grate a decent amount of cheese. This is a personal thing but I like to add quite a bit in there. Mix thoroughly into the egg and spinach. Add the basil, about a tablespoon, and season to taste. Remember that the cheese is naturally salty, so go easy on the salt.

Put a small, deep non-stick pan on the hob on a medium heat and add a little olive oil, just enough to thinly coat the base and the sides. Pour in the mixture while the pan is heating up and allow it to cook on a low to medium heat. You want to cook it until you can lift the sides off with a spatula. Ensure the omelette isn’t stuck to the pan by working the spatula round the sides and under. Place a plate over the pan and flip it. Slide the omelette back into the pan, raw side down. This can be messy but don’t fret, just tidy the side up with the spatula. Allow to cook and repeat the process once or twice as necessary. Cooking times vary with this so just keep an aye on it. You want it golden on the outside, but not burnt.

32 comments:

  1. Sounds fantastic. I'd love to try that cheese!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Lisa. I'll post about that cheese at some point.
    Brian

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  3. hmmmmm what a delicious photo!!!!!!!
    Edam is my favourite cheese I use it in pizza, omlette... it's hard & strong but so delicious
    it's cheese n°1 where i live I think it is brought from spain
    thanks for sharing such delicious recipe

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  4. I agree Touria. It's one of my favourite cheeses too, very versatile. Are there any Moroccan cheese I should watch out for? I don't think I've ever tasted any.
    Brian

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  5. hi brian
    you should watch out for "Jben" in Tetouan
    It's a white fresh & creamy cheese

    http://www.saveursetcuisinedumaroc.com/images/stories/imgs/le_jben.jpg

    Here is a photo

    I like it especially with moroccan bread
    hope you like it too

    you can find also "Jebli" an other white cheese in all moroccan supermarkets

    http://i41.servimg.com/u/f41/11/11/74/48/sv200031.jpg

    I can give you the recipe how to make jben cheese just tell me

    cuisine.touria@yahoo.fr

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  6. Thanks for the tip Touria! I'll watch out for those cheeses and will get back to you.
    brian

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  7. My mother in law and husband are gibraltarian, and she loves this dish. She says that what you get here in america isn't the same as there, so I was pleased to find this recipe. Thank you! Glad to find your blog!

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  8. Hi Laura,
    I'm glad you like the blog. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the hunt for hard Edam!
    Brian

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  9. Wow nice post Brian. It really looks delicious and I think I should try this one. My kids will really love this. Post more delicious foods! Thanks

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  10. Wow delicious recipe Brian! I would really try this at home for my kids. It looks delicious and healthy. Thanks

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  11. Thanks Gabriel. I'm glad you like it. Let me know if the kids enjoy it. My son, who is 11, love this and always helps me make it.

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  12. Wow, delicious recipe, I would really try this at home, It looks delicious and healthy. Thanks for posting.

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  13. Sounds delicious. I'll try this at home. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  14. Wow, It really looks delicious and I think I should try this one. My kids will really love this. Post more delicious foods! Thanks Forthe recipe.

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  15. Very yummy! I made this as written, but next time I will add more green pepper and onions and more garlic powder. I think red pepper would be good in this as well. Great for a healthy breakfast.

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  16. Yummy, It really looks delicious and I think I should try this one. My kids will really love this. Post more delicious foods! Thanks for sharing, keep it up.

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  17. Very yummy! I made this as written, but next time I will add more green pepper and onions and more garlic powder. I think red pepper would be good in this as well. Great for a healthy breakfast.

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  18. I just love this. It has become my routine weekend breakfast. Thanks so much for an amazing recipe!

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  19. Interesting. I will try to do this at weekend.Thank you for you recipe blog such a nice idea of sharing it.

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  20. These were so healthy and easy. I do prefer them without the nutmeg though. Next time I might try using cheddar cheese and salsa. Mushrooms would be good in there, too.

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  21. This is really cool to be tried by a house mom. I'd enjoy experimenting new recipe. And would love to try you recipe. Thanks

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  22. I love this omelet! The spices give it a great flavor. I also add some dice tomato to the veggie mix before adding the eggs.

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  23. Okay, I wanted to see if I could make omelettes & then freeze them...how would I go about heating them back up? I planned on just using 2 eggs for each omelette, a little fresh spinach, tomatoes (or salsa), turkey bacon, and a little cheese...and salt & pepper of course...so can I make them and freeze them?

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  24. There was some baby spinach in the fridge that needed to be used up so I decided to make this omelet for brunch. I cut the recipe down to use only 2 eggs. I think I used too many chickpeas but since I love chickpeas that's ok.

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  25. Have been getting coffee and breakfasts here for over 20 years, since I can walk there. Great local cafe for a sit-down breakfast or a fresh pastry/bagel and coffee to go. Cozy indoor or covered outdoor eating. Local musicians play sometimes. You can walk to the Harbor or take a hike from here. They hire local teens to work part time too. A great community treasure.

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  26. I just love Spinach omelette, It taste so delicious! Yummy!

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  27. Awesome recipe, thanx for the post, kepp it up.

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  28. So yummy! Only change I made was to use 1 egg and 3 egg whites. Will definitely make again!

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  29. Nice one Brian. I am a Gibraltarian living in the USA. My mum used to be an expert in baking spinach pies and omelettes like yours, I miss them dearly. As you well know, another delicious Gibraltarian omelette is the eggplant omelette. Good job.

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  30. Hi Anon,
    Glad you like. I like my spinach omelette, but mums and grans make the best ones eh? As for the 'torta de berenjenas' you mention, good idea. Watch this space.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    Brian

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  31. Perfect! You definitely have to have make sure you have all ingredients measured and at your fingertips before you begin. A must try.

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  32. I make something very similar to this, but I'm confused. You mention that it's egg, cheese and spinach wrapped inside a pastry. Where is the pastry?

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