April 28th, 2010

Marathon Brunch


The Country Music Marathon runs right past our house—-twice. It’s one of the few places on the circuit where runners loop back on the same road. As the morning progresses, our boulevard becomes a moving sea of people, cross currents of striding legs, bobbing heads, flinging cups of water and powerade.

This is the 10th anniversary of the marathon, whose beginning coincided with Bill’s birthday, and our official move into our house. That initial year, I recall standing outside, in the gauzy predawn light, transfixed, when the first group of runners, five Kenyans, appeared at the boulevard bend and silently, effortlessly glid past. They moved over the asphalt as I imagined they move across the veldt, light and fleet, feet scarcely touching the ground. The group vanished as quickly as they appeared,

and then quiet.

A gap of time later, the remaining swell of runners emerged. Bill’s dad was visiting us at the time. He was unaware of the event, and came outside at Bill’s urging, ” A few people are cruising by to say hello and wish me a happy birthday!”

sliced torta romesco

It’s become our tradition to get up super early, brew up a raft of coffee, and stand out front on the sidewalk to cheer everyone on. Friends and neighbors gather; it’s a festive and fun time.

I also prepare brunch to enjoy post Marathon. This year I made a frittata–Spanish style. It’s simple to prepare and tastes delicious warm or room temperature, making it an ideal entree for our group who enjoys the casual brunch graze.

The Romesco Sauce is savory-sweet from the roasted peppers, with appealing acid tang from the vinegars. Adjust the sauce’s heat with crushed red pepper flakes to your desired taste.


Tortilla Espagnol with Romesco Sauce

4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 Onions
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
6-8 Eggs

chives,sundried tomatoes, fresh oregano for garnish
cast iron skillet

Heat skillet, and coat with olive oil—about 4-5 Tablespoons.
Slice potatoes very thin–about 1/4″—and place into the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook for ten minutes, stirring the potatoes around in the skillet so that they cook evenly. Add sliced onions and continue cooking for at least another 10-15 minutes. The potatoes will be browning and the onions translucent.

Beat eggs well and pour over potato mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes (do not stir) as the eggs set. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for another 10-15 minutes, as the eggs finish cooking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Garnish with sundried tomatoes, snipped chives, or fresh oregano. Serve in wedges with romesco sauce.
Delicious warm or room temperature.


torta step 2

baked torta 3

Romesco Sauce
2 Red or Yellow Sweet Bell Peppers
2 Tomatoes
1 small Onion
4 cloves Garlic
Olive Oil, to brush onto vegetables and 1/2 c. for sauce
Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 c. toasted Almonds
1/2 c. dry, stale breadcrumbs
1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
2 T. Sherry Vinegar

Cut peppers in half and clean out the seeds. Core tomatoes and cut in half. Place peppers and tomatoes onto a baking sheet pan and brush with olive oil. Place garlic cloves and onion pieces underneath the hollow of the bell peppers. Roast in a 400 oven until vegetable skins and charred and blistered. Remove, let cool, and slip off the skins.

In the food processor fitted with the swivel blade, pulse the almonds and breadcrumbs until fine. Add the roasted vegetables, scraping all the accumulated juices and oil from the baking pan into the processor. Pulse until smooth, then add olive oil and vinegars. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. The Romesco Sauce with form a smooth emulsion. Serve on the side with the Spanish Tortilla.


Posted in Egg/Cheese Dishes, Recipes, Sauces

11 Responses to “Marathon Brunch”
  1. Tracy Says:

    A thing of beauty. I’ll bet it tasted AMAZING. I really enjoyed this post. I felt like I was there cheering on the runners while having a drop of coffee. What a great way to spend the morning.

  2. Nancy Says:

    Beautiful tortilla! It must be incredible with the romesco sauce for brunch. I’m inspired to put my cast iron skillet to good use this weekend!

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Nancy, a good friend gave me a well-seasoned cast iron skillet that is as perfect for the tortilla espagnol as it is for cornbread!

  4. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    This looks great! I know you served it for brunch, but I wouldn’t mind it for dinner tonight.

  5. Leisa Hammett Says:

    Nancy, I am just LOVING how you are combining story with food! Delicious!!

  6. Fluffy Says:

    The Spanish Tortilla was delicious. Each year the Marathon brings something new, but that first year was special.

  7. Gena Says:

    I could have swam in the romesco sauce. It was sooooo good. Thanks so much for allowing me to join you. Look forward to next year already!

  8. mark Says:

    Toasted hazelnuts are also a great addition to the Romesco Sauce.

  9. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    I really like the sound of this tortilla and the romesco sauce. It looks so good!

  10. Madeleine Says:

    Wish I could have eaten those goodies this year. Marathon brunch is always so good!

  11. heather Says:

    Great story! And I needed a main dish for a party, thanks Nancy.

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