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The Most Unfussy, Forgiving Paella Ever
Ingredients
Directions
Ingredients
2 tbsp
olive oil
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1 lg
yellow onion, minced
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2
garlic cloves, minced
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1
bundle asparagus (10-15 spears), chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
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1 c
short-grain white rice
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0.25 c
white wine
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0.5 tsp
tarragon
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1.5 c
vegetable stock
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1 c
peas
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0
salt
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0
pepper
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0.5 c
Manchego cheese
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0
chopped parsley, for garnish
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The Most Unfussy, Forgiving Paella Ever

Years ago, while living in Barcelona, my roommates and I decided to cook up an iconic Spanish dish: paella. The wide pans of saffron-scented rice are ubiquitous along the European city’s streets. Families huddle around the steaming delicacy as they fork up mouthfuls of rice directly from the shared plates. Menus boast paella with chicken, paella with chorizo, and my favorite, paella with squid ink and a smattering of seafoods. The toppings and preparations are endless. While many cultures scorn overcooked, crispy layers of rice that can stick to the hottest underbelly of a pot, Spaniards covet the textured bits. They even have a name for it: socarrat. The word is derived from the verb socarrar, meaning “to char” or “to singe.”

2-4 servings

  1. Set a 12- to 13-inch pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine. Let toast for a few minutes and stir frequently. Season with salt, pepper, and tarragon. Spread the rice across the pan in an even, thin layer. Add the wine and let it reduce. Then add the peas and vegetable stock and let cook for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Do not stir the rice as it cooks.
  3. Once cooked through, remove the paella from the heat, stir in the Manchego cheese (being careful to keep the socarrat intact), top with parsley, serve, and enjoy.

Recipe by Eve Turow

Eve Turow Paul

Eve Turow Paul is a New York–based writer. She has contributed to The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Plate, and more. For more information, visit eveturowpaul.com.