Red pepper paella with wild garlic, almonds & an olive & orange salad recipe image

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

Want to sound authentic and well-travelled? Learn to pronounce paella properly. Essentially the trickis to stifle the ll sound in the back of the throat and replace it with a y sound instead. pie-eh-ya.


  • 1 onion
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 celery stick
  • Light olive oil
  • 1 stock cube
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 75ml white wine
  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch saffron
  • 200g calasparra rice
  • 50g wild garlic
  • 50g salad pack
  • 1 orange
  • 60g black olives
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Peel and finely slice the onion. Cut the peppers in half, lengthways. Remove the seeds and cut into slices. Wash the celery stalk and finely dice it.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your pan. Add the onion, peppers and celery. Fry gently on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
  3. Everything should cook down into a tender, golden tangle. Add a dash of water if it looks like drying out and burning. While the onion and peppers cook boil a kettle and tip 700ml of water into the measuring jug.
  4. Crumble in the stock cube and mix well. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Add the chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, saffron and white wine into the pan.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the wine to reduce. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir gently to coat the grains.
  6. 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.
  7. Add a dash of water if needed but try to avoid excessive stirring or movement. Meanwhile, wash and dry the salad. Remove the orange peel with a sharp knife. Slice the orange into thin rounds, reserving any juice. Cut the olives in half. Wash the wild garlic well. Shake it dry and roughly chop it.
  8. Heat the small frying pan and toast the almonds over a medium heat. Keep them moving and turning until lightly coloured.
  9. Mix with a dash of oil and a good pinch of salt. After 25 minutes add the wild garlic to the 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Serve the paella with the salted almonds scattered on top. Serve the salad leaves, oranges and olives as a simple side salad.

Cooks 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.
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