This month we look at eggs and no cooking article in Spain would be complete without the Spanish Tortilla which I have shown before, but well worth repeating, especially if you missed it. This recipe is slightly different, using aubergines which make a great change and a very healthy option. Eggs are healthy, full of protein, iron, vitamin A and D and they are also inexpensive.

The yolk of an egg contains all the egg’s fat, which is why anyone on a diet usually eats only the white. It also contains a good amount of protein, iron, vitamin A and D, choline and phosphorous. The white of the egg is an excellent source of riboflavin, but also contains protein. To test the freshness of the egg simply place it in a tumbler of cold water. If the egg floats to the surface it is likely to be bad or even rotten. However, if it lies flat in the bottom of the glass it is fresh, but beware; if it starts to tilt, it is becoming old. You can keep eggs in a fridge for up to a month and they should be stored in their original box as transferring them to an egg container on the fridge door can expose them to odour and damage. Also, never store them near strong smelling food like onions as they absorb odours very quickly. When eggs are stored at room temperature outside the fridge they lose more quality in one day than a week in the fridge.

Aubergine Tortilla

700g aubergines
½ bunch parsley
2 onions
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 eggs

Wash and dice aubergines. Finely chop parsley and peel and dice onions. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and cook slowly for 5 minutes until transparent. Remove onions and add remaining oil and cook aubergine cubes for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs for two minutes, add onions to the aubergines and stir gently. Pour the egg evenly over the vegetables. Cook the tortilla on a very low heat for 5 minutes or until underneath is golden brown. Place a plate the size of the frying pan over the mixture and turn over, sliding the tortilla back into the frying pan to cook the other side. Slide onto a plate and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot or cold.

Eggs Benedict

4 slices of bread
8 slices of smoked salmon
1-2 tbsp vinegar
4 eggs
Hollandaise Sauce
100g butter
2 egg yolks
2-4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp white vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

To make the hollandaise sauce, take a large bowl, mix egg yolks, half the lemon juice and vinegar. Place over a pan of hot water which is just simmering. Beat mixture until frothy with a whisk. Add butter gradually and then add seasoning. As sauce thickens add the remaining lemon juice. Add vinegar to water and poach eggs in simmering water. Toast bread and cut into circles. Spread a small amount of hollandaise sauce on the toast and then lay 2 slices of smoked salmon on each slice. Carefully lift poached eggs out of water on lay on top of salmon. Pour remaining sauce on top of eggs.

Vegetable Omelette

2 courgettes
1 small red pepper
1 small green pepper
3 shallots of small onions
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp milk
6 eggs
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg

Trim and cut courgettes, peppers and onions into small cubes. Heat the oil and sauté the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the courgettes and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Spoon mixture into an oven dish. Mix together the cornflour with some of the milk to make a paste. Beat the eggs and the remaining milk and season. Pour over vegetables and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes and then allow to cool.

Egg Fried Rice

225g long grain rice
1 clove garlic
2 eggs
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce

Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with boiling water, then drain again and set aside. Beat the eggs and set aside. Heat oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan. Crush garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute, add rice and cook for a further minute. Pour in eggs and stir fry for about 2 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Add Soy sauce to taste and salt and pepper. Serve while hot.

Scrambled Eggs

Whisk the eggs until frothy and season with salt and pepper (allow 2-3 eggs per person). Melt a teaspoon of butter in a saucepan. The best scrambled eggs are cooked slowly on a very low heat. For some reason I always find that the best scrambled eggs are cooked stirred with a wooden spoon. Do not add milk to the mixture. Once the butter has melted, slide the whisked eggs into the pan and cook gently, stirring. Once the eggs are lightly set, remove from heat as they will continue to cook in the heat of the pan but you must stir until thickened. Serve immediately.