Tortilla (Spanish omelette) makes the perfect versatile family food. Made with fresh eggs and seasonal vegetables, an everyday dish becomes a true luxury. I often make a large one for Saturday lunch then any leftovers can be served cubed as tapas, sliced into wedges for a picnic or kept in the fridge as a snack for grazing teenagers.
3 tbspolive oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large red onion, sliced
350g (12oz)spring greens,
sprout tops or cavolo nero cabbage, washed, tough core removed and sliced
1pimiento from a jar, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and layer up the sliced potatoes, onion and plenty of seasoning. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning potato slices to allow them all to cook through. Once potatoes are tender, turn up the heat and cook until golden.
Meanwhile, blanch greens in a pan of boiling water for a minute until just wilted. Drain well and pat dry on kitchen paper. Add to potatoes with pimiento and cook for a couple of minutes.
Place eggs in a bowl with seasoning and beat. Add hot vegetables from the pan and mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Heat remaining oil in a 20cm non-stick frying pan until very hot and pour in egg mixture. Stir with a fork, lifting the middle of the tortilla to let the runny egg down into the base. Cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until tortilla is set and base is golden.
Place a large plate over the pan and very carefully invert the frying pan to tip the tortilla out onto the plate, cooked side upwards. Carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side. To get the traditional cake shape, slide the omelette back into the pan a couple more times until the whole thing is golden brown and cooked through. Turn onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature.
Local food tip: Spring greens and cabbages are at their best now at the start of the year. Buy them at local farm shops and farmer's markets and use in soups, hashes and steamed with plenty of ground black pepper to benefit from their high vitamin levels.
Mary Gwynn is a highly respected editorial consultant and food writer, who works with companies such as Waitrose and the BBC. Formerly Editor in Chief of The M&S Magazine she has also worked for Good Housekeeping, Woman and Home and BBC Good Food and Vegetarian Good Food magazines as a food writer and editor, and has written several cookery books. Now based in Kent, she is currently working with Stack House Cookery School near Sevenoaks as a teacher, and running bespoke cookery courses for students from her own kitchen.