Vegetarian: Revueltos (Creamy Spanish-Style Scrambled Eggs)


[Photograph: Lauren Rothman]

When you cook a lot of vegetables, you often find bits and pieces of dishes you've made loitering around your fridge in various tupperware containers long after you have any idea what to do with them. You know what I mean: you cook up a mess of greens, or roast off a bunch of potatoes, and initially they end up where they're supposed to: in your noodle dishes, or in a frittata. But after a few days, you lose your inspiration, and resign yourself to tossing out your leftovers.

I come to you today with the perfect solution to the leftover cooked veggies conundrum: revueltos. Sounds fancy, right? But they're not. Revueltos are simply creamy, barely-set Spanish-style scrambled eggs that are cooked in a warm (not hot) pan with a) good-quality olive oil; b) tons of garlic; and c) pretty much any neutrally-flavored leftovers you've got. After cooking the eggs slowly, scraping the pan constantly to break up the curds that form, you'll be left with with custardy eggs that have a velvety, super-soft texture.

I still remember the first time I ate this dish. I was 12 years old, on vacation with my family in southern Spain, when we stopped into a totally nondescript diner in Granada looking for some lunch. The tiny restaurant was filled with chatty customers and wonderful smells, but what we noticed immediately was that there was only one person working there: the smiley, convivial proprietor, who also took all the orders, made all the food, delivered it to the tables, and rang up the bills at the end of the meal. No joke. He was completely calm and collected, and what's more, his food was amazing. I ordered the revueltos de albondigas, or scrambled eggs with meatballs, and what arrived was a small metal dish of creamy, intensely orange eggs folded around tender, juicy pork-and-beef meatballs in a dark tomato sauce. As inviting as the meal smelled, it tasted even better.

Nowadays, I mostly stick to vegetables when choosing a filling for my revueltos: this version calls for dark greens and potatoes, although you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. But meat or no meat, this is one meal that still has the power to transport me to Spain circa 1998 every time I make it.