As soon as I spied a recipe for a tortilla with potatoes, parsnips and watercress on Cannelle et Vanille last week, I knew I had to make it. I halved the recipe to make a single-serving version for lunch, and it was delicious - but the egg-to-filling ration was too low for my liking. I decided to tweak things a bit and make my own version, heavy on the egg, lighter on the potato and parsnip, and generous with the watercress.
The genius move of the recipe - poaching the parsnip and potato in olive oil - remains, because it is just damn tasty. Seriously, intensely, ridiculously tasty.
(A quick aside: watercress is one of my favorite greens, and is especially good sauteed in olive oil with a bit of garlic. Top it off with a sprinkling of soy sauce and a pinch of red pepper, and you have a side dish worthy of a king.)
I also changed the equipment called for by the original recipe; due partly to storage space concern and partly to my belief that there's no reason to own two of everything, I don't own non-stick pans, so the flipping action called for in the Cannelle recipe was a bit tough. use the broiler, though, and there's no need to flip the thing when the egg is still quite runny - and you won't dirty a plate, either!
This recipe makes a generous lunch for one, or part of a lunch for two, but it should multiply easily - just use a bigger skillet.
Tortilla with Parsnip, Potato and Watercress
Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus an additional teaspoon or so
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium russet potato, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 small parsnip, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of watercress, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In an oven-proof 8 inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat them for about 2 minutes - you want them cooked, but not browned. Add the diced potatoes, parsnip and the salt. Cook the vegetables at medium for about 2 minutes, then lower the heat to medium low and cook for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the broiler.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the watercress. Using a slotted spoon, remove the poatoes, parsnips and onions from the olive oil and add to the egg mixture (It's ok if the eggs cook a bit from the heat of the vegetables.). Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to the heat. Add the teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan, including the sides.
Add the eggs to the pan, turn the heat back to medium and stir the center so the egg starts to cook. When the center starts to scramble, let it be and don't stir anymore. Tuck in the edges nicely with the spatula and cook for about 2-3 minutes. When the edges begin to set, transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook until the tortilla is done to your liking. (I like it crispy on the edges and a bit runny in the middle, which takes about 3 minutes.)
Use a spatula to gently loosen the tortilla from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Slice in wedges if you plan to serve to more than one eater. Season with a bit of black pepper and salt, and serve.
Serves one generously, or two as part of a meal.