From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of April 2, 2012
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Herbed Spanish Omelet

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

There are many versions of Spanish omelets, yet all feature eggs and potatoes. Often referred to as Spanish tortillas, they are served in cafés and bars as tapas or appetizers, making them one of the most commonly served dishes in Spain. They also are popular as a light dinner. This is not surprising given that they are easy to prepare, tasty and satisfying.

People have prepared different forms of omelets for centuries. Early versions of this egg dish were cooked until firm, but the French introduced ways to create a certain measure of fluffiness. In this rendition, the potatoes soften the consistency and parsley, basil and chives add flavor.

You typically find either white or brown eggs in the supermarket. The color is not an indication of nutritional value, but is determined by the breed of hen. Hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs and those with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown ones. Brown eggs tend to be more expensive than white because the hens are larger and require more food.

For a complete breakfast, you can serve up this Spanish omelet along with a slice of whole-grain bread or a cup of old-fashioned oatmeal and a fruit cup featuring berries. Enjoy a cup of herbal or green tea, and it's the perfect way to start your day. Or, whip up a light supper featuring the omelet accompanied by a bowl of hearty vegetable soup. It's easy to prepare and satisfying without being over filling.

Spanish Omelet

Herbed Spanish Omelet

  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced or shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil and chives
  • Salt to taste
  • Sprigs of fresh herbs to garnish (optional)

Place potatoes in large pan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, not mushy. Drain well.

Heat oil in deep 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Combine whole eggs and egg whites. Stir in parsley, basil and chives. Season with salt if desired. Pour mixture over potatoes in hot skillet. Reduce heat and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes or until bottom of omelet is golden.

If desired, brown top under toaster oven. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 260 calories, 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrate,
11 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 106 mg sodium.

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We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at

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