At the suggestion of a friend, I tried Ottolenghi’s veggie paella recipe from his Plenty book (which is also reproduced on the Guardian website, but with some slight variations).
I hadn’t wanted to try it before as I didn’t want to buy sherry just for this, and have it go to waste (I am not a huge sherry fan). But my friend assured me it required a medium sherry, which is quite drinkable. So I should not fear it going to waste!
And so. It’s basically onion, garlic, peppers fried before adding smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Then 100ml sherry (a satisfying sizzle), a couple of bay leaves and stock.
The hardest thing is to leave it to cook without stirring it. So different to a risotto where the stirring is key.
But it was the most delicious colour.
After 20mins, you add tomatoes, shelled broad beans (which take longer than you think to do!) and artichoke (char grilled ones, from a jar). You then turn off the heat & cover with foil and leave it for 10 mins. Most unusual. Might it get cold?!?
Nope! Just delicious. A very hearty meal, and does serve 2 generously, as the recipe says.
There was the odd grain of rice which was a little crunchy, so I wonder if a little more stock was needed. Otherwise. Great. The smoked paprika comes through, as does the cayenne (I used cayenne chilli pepper which is a little hotter than usual). This will become a staple!