And when she got there, the cupboard was bare….Olive Oil Tortillas

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone
When she got there, the cupboard was bare
And so the poor dog had none*

Olive Oil Tortillas (3)

Our little break Down by the Sea is over and yesterday we got back to Spain and are now back Up the Mountain. Today is Sunday, and of course in our rural area pretty much everything is closed.

We could have gone out for lunch but we are exhausted. Time to dig around in the freezer and the store cupboard and become an inventive Chica.

On opening my fridge I actually screamed with shock and slammed the door shut again. Big Man came running thinking I’d left something in there that had grown gills while we were away. But no, it was 3 weeks of tomatoes kindly picked and stored by our neighbours. Here’s a photo of about half of them…

There's still the salad basket below which is packed too!
There’s still the salad basket below which is packed too!

Well, there was definitely going to be a tomato salad on the menu. Every day for a long time.

The freezer kindly delivered up an Ottolenghi Chicken and Hazelnut dish and all I needed was bread. Did you know that most Mediterranean folk I know won’t even consider a meal complete unless there is a basket of bread on the table? In fact, I think if there was nothing on the menu in a restaurant they’d order bread with bread.

With not enough time or patience to make a loaf, I thought of tortilla wraps and headed over to check out Tandy’s brilliant recipe at Lavender and Lime. Of course, I had no butter but in the land of olive oil, a substitution was possible, and gave great results.

Olive Oil Tortillas

  • 180g plain flour
  • 30g olive oil (yes, I did this by weight and not volume!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Up to 100ml water

Add the sugar and salt to the flour and mix then pour in the olive oil. Rub the oil into the flour until small lumps form and then rub for a moment or two more to break the little lumps down. Gradually add the water and knead for a few minutes until you have a smooth dough.

Rest the dough for 30 minutes (I just left it on the counter) and divide into four equal pieces. Roll out into thin rounds and dry fry in a very hot frying pan, pressing down with a spatula to stop air bubbles forming. Cook on both sides until lightly browned and keep warm by wrapping them in a tea towel.

Olive Oil Tortillas (1)

Enjoy your tortillas whilst asking your other half where all your glass jars with lids are for your tomato bottling session, only to find out he has thrown them all in the recycling.

*Rest assured that no dogs or even humans ever went hungry in our house!

For a delicious gluten free bread/wrap, take a look at my Socca recipe.


70 thoughts on “And when she got there, the cupboard was bare….Olive Oil Tortillas

  1. NOOOOO!! Not the jars! I can just imagine your face. Tortillas are excellent for when there is nothing but tomatoes in the fridge what kind neighbours and what beautiful tomatoes! c

  2. Those tomatoes are so inviting!
    As for the tortillas I didn’t know this kind of recipe…
    Is it as easy as it seems! I’ll made them very soon, thank you,Chica!

    1. It really is a very quick and easy recipe for a simple tortilla wrap! The tomatoes are different to many others I’ve seen – here they are ready for salad when they are part red and part green on the outside – thet are red inside and firm and sweet to eat!

  3. Very clever to make tortillas to go with your meal. Yes, I know what you will be eating for sometime…tomato this and tomato that. Speaking of dogs with no bones…is Big Man in the dog house for throwing away your jars. 🙂

    1. He was temporarily in the dog house…but as they went to the recycling I couldn’t complain too much! The word is out on the street now that I need jars – I expect a mountain of them to be left outside my front gate in a day or so!

  4. The cupboard might be bare but you could live for a month off what is in that fridge! ;). Love this recipe by the way, it’s even vegan by default! I have decided that Steve and I are going to live off flatbreads and salad this summer…these babies are the start of my “flatbread collection” for Summer 2013…”perfect little numbers that flatter women of all sizes…” 😉

      1. Brilliant from afar…not so good when you have to peg your belly up to prevent you catching a breeze and setting sail on the good ship narf7! 😉

  5. Never allow a man to work on his own initiative! My dear husband has now learned to leave things WELL ALONE – even if he can’t understand why I need them! 🙂
    I really want to try out these tortillas right now.

    1. Yes, I can agree with that and I know my mum will too – my dad is the worst for having spur of the moment “clear outs” only for us to find a week or so later that he’s chucked something important or valuable!

  6. Oh wow. Look at all those lovely tomatoes. I’m drooling.
    We’re still living off our preserved tomatoes and haven’t even got our plants in for this coming season.
    I am happy with just a meal of meaty tomatoes, with oil, salt and pepper and some fresh basil.
    The tomatoes in the supermarket are so plastic I don’t buy them, even for a special occasion.

    1. I so agree Diane – in England (apart from the gorgeous summer tomatoes) you have to pay a fortune for a few flavourless specimens – it’s just not worth it and for cooking I stick to tinned if I haven’t got preserved. Hope the spring is on its way for you…

  7. “Did you know that most Mediterranean folk I know won’t even consider a meal complete unless there is a basket of bread on the table?”

    SO TRUE!!! My dad will not eat a single thig without bread! Just doesn’t work out as lunch or dinner for him! He gets it from his mum who raised all 6 of her boys to believe they won’t be “full from a meal” if they don’t eat bread!!
    I love the tomatoes 🙂 Rufus has some nice salads and I’m sure you’ll be sharing with us some more! You could make kawaaj or kabaab Hindi (both ony my blog if you care for a recipe 😉 ). So good to have you back up the mountain. I still envy your livelihood up there! 😉

    1. Glad you understood the bread thing – when we’re in England and Big Man asks for a basket of bread he is outraged firstly that we get charged several pounds for it and then outraged when we’re sometimes presented with ready sliced bread! Am off now to check out your recipes….thanks Fati 🙂 I think I’ve made your kawaaj before….wonderful!

    1. You know me too well – have never made tomato juice actually, I need to look into it! My worktop is full of tomatoes which need to ripen as they are great for salad right now but not so good for bottling x

  8. One of the chefs on TV showed how easy it is to sun dry and then put into jars with olive oil and herbs – if I was over there I would give that a go – did any roll out when you opened the door? Maybe the attack of the killer tomatoes caused you to scream!

  9. How lovely that your kind neighbor picked and stored your tomatoes. I would love to have that many to contemplate! Fried green tomatoes, green tomato chow chow, tomato chutney, salsas, salads, soup, antipasto…yum! Now I love that you made these tortillas and I have bookmarked this page to try and make some of my own. I know they must be a thousand times better than store bought…they look it!

    1. Our neighbours are great and look after things for us when we are away. We share our olive oil making with them too which means a little less work for us and we divide up the bounty! I took half the tomatoes out of the fridge today and they are already ripening outside in the sunshine 🙂

  10. Wow, that tortilla is such a great idea. But i’m actually floored by the tomatoes. What great neighbors you have. I’m now craving something with tomatoes…Maybe a caprese tonight with basil. Que vecinos tienen!

    1. We are suddenly inundated with jars – the word was put out and all Big Man’s pals from the local bar (the old boys) are turning up on my doorstep with jars from their collections at home. Wonder if they have told their wives or will they have the same shock as me when they come to bottle and find all their jars have gone?!

  11. How nice that your neighbors saved your tomatoes for you. Of course, you’ll be kept busy preserving them all — once you get some jars/bottles. Your tortillas look very much like our pieda, only that we use vegetable shortening rather than olive oil or butter. Whether Zia dines alone or with 10 people seated at her table, there is always a basket of bread on the table. I think it’s in her genes. 🙂

    1. Ooh I’ll have to go and look up pieda now – that’s a new one to me. I am just getting going on the preserving as jars are arriving daily on my doorstep (literally!). As a good Italian you understood completely what I meant about the bread/meal issue! Hope you had fun the other day with Celi and John 🙂

  12. Bread is the staff of life. Just thought I’d be profound 🙂
    My husband always grabs on to the bread basket in restaurants when they try to take it away after the starters. (they never do that abroad, but often in England!) How else is he going to mop up his sauce?

  13. Hahaha.. I was hoping you’d show us a photo of all those tomatoes!! Oh, my gosh, I’d be devastated if the jars were recycled.. I watch my box with an eagle eye when my husband starts “cleaning out” the garage! I am always amazed at the meals you can pull together with so little to start with! xx

    1. I think the lesson has been learned (on both sides). I need to put them into a big box marked “jars – DO NOT THROW AWAY” and Big Man needs to ask BEFORE he chucks things 🙂 We are now the proud owners of a pretty impressive new collection of jars courtesy of the neighbourhood!

  14. Holy cow that’s a lot of tomatoes, but think of the lovely soups and sauces you could do with it all! Great looking tortillas too… mine usually turn out “edible”, but not at pretty looking – will try this recipe next time!

    1. They’re already being turned into sauce ready for some delish summer sunshine in a jar over winter. I was pleased with the tortillas and as they cooled down they stayed “pliable” which was good!

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