Its ingredient list is short and ordinary, but the classic Spanish tortilla (a tender omelet that’s equally satisfying hot or cold, day or night) is a more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts kind of dish. Prior to joining the eggs, the onions and potatoes get a long, luxurious olive oil bath that lends silky softness to every bite. Turning the tortilla in the traditional manner, by quickly inverting it onto a plate, is a maneuver that can foil hesitant cooks. To avert disaster, move decisively, and take a tip from Jaleo head chef José Dávila: “Make sure you oil the plate before for easy sliding into the pan.”

Jaleo’s Tortilla Española

Makes:3 tortillas
Active time:1 hour 5 minutes
Total time:2 hours 15 minutes

3 cupsThinly sliced Spanish onions (about 2 medium onions)
2 tsp.Salt, plus more for seasoning
4 cupsExtra virgin olive oil, divided
5 cupsPeeled, quartered, and thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
7Large eggs

1. Cook the vegetables: In a large skillet set over medium heat, combine onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3½ cups oil. When onions begin to brown, about 20 minutes, add potatoes and an additional pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain vegetables, reserving oil for another use, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Prepare the eggs: In a large bowl, whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Stir in potatoes and onions and allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes.

3. Make the tortillas: Oil and heat a small nonstick skillet over medium. Ladle in a third of the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture for 30 seconds, then reduce the heat to low and cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Place an oiled dinner plate over the skillet. With one hand holding the plate firmly in place, quickly invert the skillet so the tortilla drops onto the plate. Slide the tortilla back into the skillet and continue cooking until the center of the tortilla springs back when pressed, about 6 minutes. Slide the finished tortilla onto a clean plate and repeat with the remaining egg mixture. Serve immediately.