Pic of Red pepper paella with wild garlic, almonds and an olive and orange salad

Red pepper paella with wild garlic, almonds and an olive and orange salad

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Vegetarian mains

Red pepper paella with wild garlic, almonds and an olive and orange salad

Main Serves 2 50 min
Want to sound authentic and well-travelled? Learn to pronounce paella properly. Essentially the trick is to stifle the ll sound in the back of the throat and replace it with a y sound instead. pie-eh-ya.

Cook's notes

Like a risotto, this is a dish of rice plumped with a flavourful stock. The fundamental difference is that you should leave a paella to tootle along relatively untouched. In an ideal world it will form a golden crust in the bottom of the pan as the liquid absorbs. It is called a 'socarrat' by aficionados and is much sought after.

Ingredients

  • oil for frying
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 celery stick, finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • pinch saffron
  • 75ml white wine
  • 200g paella rice
  • 700ml veg stock
  • 1 orange
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 50g wild garlic, washed well and chopped
  • small handful salad leaves
  • a few black olives, halved
  • salt and pepper

Method

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add the onion, peppers and celery. Fry gently on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
  • Step 2

    Everything should cook down into a tender, golden tangle. Add a dash of water if it looks like drying out and burning.
  • Step 3

    Add the tomatoes, smoked paprika, saffron and white wine to the pan. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the wine to reduce. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Step 4

    Add the rice and stir gently to coat the grains. Spread and level the rice as evenly across the pan as you can. Tip over the stock and leave to simmer on a low heat for 25 minutes. Check the rice gently every so often to make sure it isn't drying out too much or burning onto the pan.
  • Step 5

    Add a dash of water if needed but try to avoid excessive stirring or movement.
  • Step 6

    Remove the orange peel with a sharp knife. Slice the orange into thin rounds, reserving any juice.
  • Step 7

    Heat a small frying pan and toast the almonds over a medium heat. Keep them moving and turning until lightly coloured.
  • Step 8

    Mix with a dash of oil and a good pinch of salt.
  • Step 9

    After 25 minutes add the wild garlic to the rice pan, pushing it into the rice rather than stirring. Cook for a further 5 minutes, checking the rice as before, until the rice is just cooked. You don't want the paella to be too sloppy at the end, so add any extra liquid sparingly during the last 5 minutes. Ideally you'd like a slight golden crust to form on the bottom of the rice. If you fear it may be burning use more liquid. Cover the pan with a lid or some foil. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Step 10

    Serve the paella with the salted almonds scattered on top. Serve the salad leaves, oranges and olives as a simple side salad.

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