Today we’re excited to share a recipe from Pau Farreny J., a Spain-based cook and educator who’s committed to reducing food waste. Pau works for Espigoladors, an organization that rescues food at risk of being thrown away, offers cooking classes for stretching ingredients and otherwise helps feed those in need while reducing the environmental toll of food waste.
Thanks to Pau for sharing a very Spanish food-waste-fighting recipe: Ajo Mulero. It’s similar to a classic egg and potato Spanish tortilla, but with one big change: It’s vegan. Instead of eggs, this recipe calls for stale bread.
Buen provecho! Or, as they’d say in Catalan, which is spoken in Pau’s region of Catalonia, Buen profit!Print
Ajo Mulero – A vegan Spanish tortilla made with stale bread
This vegan take on a Spanish tortilla uses stale bread in place of eggs.
- 1.5 cups (200 grams) potato.
- 1 clove garlic.
- ½ onion.
- 1 tomato.
- ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika.
- About 7 slices of sandwich bread, or the equivalent in other styles of bread. This would be about 180g of dry bread.
- 1 cup water.
- Olive oil.
- Wash the potatoes and tomato. Peel the onion and garlic.
- Cut the potato into cubes. Chop the garlic and tomato as small as possible, but keep them separated. Remove the tomato seeds and set them aside. (They won’t go into the final tortilla, but we have ideas for them in the notes below.)
- Chop the bread into nut-sized pieces.
- In a non-stick pan, stir fry the onion and add the garlic. Cook until they are transparent, then set them aside in a dish.
- Fry the potatoes over medium heat with a little salt and paprika. We want them to be soft, but not crunchy. Add the onion, garlic and tomato and stir fry everything together. The potato should absorb the excess oil; if not, pour off the oil, and set it aside to add to the pan later in the process.
- Add half of the water and let the potato finish cooking. Soak the dry bread in water.
- Squeeze the water from the bread, add the bread to the potato and stir everything so that it reaches a homogeneous consistency. Cook over low heat and add a little more water if needed. When the surface starts to look drier and it starts to firm up, flip it. To do this, put some water on a plate that’s bigger than the pan, place the plate over the pan and flip the partially-cooked tortilla onto the plate. Put the pan back on the stove, add a little more oil (perhaps the oil you set aside earlier). Slide the tortilla off the plate and back into the pan to cook the other side.
- The final tortilla will be golden brown and a bit crunchy on the outside and still soft and moist on the inside.
- Mix the tomato seeds with salt and oil and spread on bread. (Refrigerate if you won’t make your “pan con tomate” right away.)
- You can leave the peels on the potatoes, but if you want to peel them, stash the peels in a bag in the freezer for scrappy broth.
- Stale bread can be used in lots of recipes and is especially versatile as bread crumbs. “Migas” is another great way to rescue stale bread. Pau recommends this Migas recipe, which is available in Spanish. Check out EatOrToss’s Stale Bread Library for more ideas!