Spanish Green Asparagus Omelette (Tortilla de asparagos trigueros)

Serves 4
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"The tortilla or Spanish omelette is a firm, juicy egg-and-potato cake. It can include any vegetables which take your fancy, as long as the proportion of solids to egg remains roughly equal."

"The tortilla or Spanish omelette is a firm, juicy egg-and-potato cake. It can include any vegetables which take your fancy, as long as the proportion of solids to egg remains roughly equal."

500g baby asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil for frying
5 large free-range eggs
5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed small
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chop the asparagus into short lengths, discarding any woody ends. In a heavy pan heat just enough olive oil to submerge the diced potato. When the oil is lightly hazed with blue, fry the potatoes until soft but not yet browned, sprinkling lightly with salt halfway through the cooking. Remove and drain in a sieve set over a bowl to catch the drippings.

Drop the chopped asparagus into the hot oil in the pan, count to 10 and transfer to the draining sieve along with the potatoes. Leave to cool a little.

Fork up the eggs lightly in a bowl. Season and mix in the potatoes and asparagus. Heat 2 tbsp of the drippings which have collected in the bowl in a 20cm omelette pan. The size of the pan dictates the thickness of the omelette - which should be at least the width of two thumbs. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg and potato, prodding the solids down so they're fully submerged in egg. Turn down the heat and fry gently for 6-7 minutes. As the omelette cooks, shake to loosen the base and neaten the sides with a spatula. To speed the cooking process, cover loosely.

As soon the egg begins to look set on top, invert a plate over the top and, with a quick flick of the wrist, flip the whole thing over so the tortilla ends up on the plate, cooked side uppermost. Be brave - it's no harder than flipping a pancake. Slip it back in the pan and brown the other side (you may need a little more oil). Don't overcook - the centre should remain juicy.

When it feels firm but still a little squidgy, slip it out onto its plate - it'll set a little more as it cools. Pat off excess oil with kitchen paper. Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges or cubes.

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