Wednesday, April 21, 2004

butternut squash, spinach and walnut tortilla
My parents think that lunch equals bread and eggs in one of many combinations: fried egg on toast; scrambled egg with cheese in it, you've guessed it, on toast; poached egg (on toast); egg and bacon with bread and butter; boiled egg and soldiers. It is not surprising then that when E came over for lunch, and I was old enough to cook for us (12+), eggs predominated.
We hatched a plan. We'd have a cafe (probably next door to our salon) where people could order omlettes like you do pizza - any topping of your choice. Perhaps even sweet omlettes!
In honour of this memory, and because last time E came over she was laughing about how these days I can cook more than eggs, tonight I'm going to cook butternut squash, spinach and walnut tortilla. The following will serve four.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
150ml double cream
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/2 butternut squash (can use pumpkin or sweet potatoes instead)
olive oil
soy sauce
tobasco (or sweet chilli sauce, chilli)
150g spinach
walnut halves (or chopped walnuts)

Preheat oven to gas mark 7. Whisk eggs with double cream, add salt pepper and garlic. Peel and chop squash into 2cm chunks - coat these with olive oil, soy sauce and chilli. Bake in the oven until tender and slightly browned (about 20 minutes). Transfer into a large (non-stick) frying pan. Over a medium-to-low heat, add the spinach and pour the egg/cream mixture over the top. The egg/cream should reach about 2/3rds up the frying pan. Sprinkle the walnut halves/bits over the top of the tortilla. The egg should begin to set - this will take about 10 minutes - you can cook the tortilla in two ways: 1. cut and lift with a spatula so that runny egg flows to the bottom of the pan and cooks; or 2. when the tortilla has cooked half way through from the bottom up, place the frying pan under the grill to let it cook top down. I prefer method 2 as I like my tortilla quite firm.

Can be eaten warm or at room temperature - it is good served with salads.

This recipe is adapted from The Cranks Bible, which is one of my favourite cook books - along with The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (you Americans have no idea how rude that sounds to us Brits, makes me wet my pants every time), The New Cranks Recipe Book and, of course, The Moro Cookbook.

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