It’s happened, I’ve found an Anna Jones recipe that I’m not all that keen on – her Artichoke and Fennel Seed Paella. I’ve got a feeling it was something to do with not having a couple of essential ingredients to hand and being too lazy to pop to the shop, but I have to admit, even if I had cooked the recipe as it was supposed to be cooked, I still don’t I’d like Anna’s veggie paella as much as Yotam Ottelnghi’s one. But, you should make your own mind up.
Anna’s paella is dead easy to make – if you’re a dab hand at making risotto you’ll find this a breeze. And it’s packed full of tasty ingredients to, such as peppers, grilled artichokes, spinach and spicy piquillo peppers combined with the aniseed tones of fennel, the smokey flavour of paprika and the earthy notes of saffron (I didn’t have enough saffron, which could have been the root of all my paella issues).
Once you’ve sautéed the onions and peppers, you throw almost everything else in the pan and leave it to look after itself until there’s 1 cm of liquid left bubbling in the pan, add the artichokes and spinach, cover and leave for a bit longer, before finishing off with the piquillo peppers, lemon and parsley.
I did all of this (minus the saffron) and rather disappointingly was left with a bit of a soggy looking rice dish, that didn’t really bear a passing resemblance to a paella.
Sulking slightly at the fact that Anna had let me down with her paella recipe, I dished it up and asked the husband what he thought.
The verdict from the husband: A not very convincing ‘Mmmm, that’s nice…’
The verdict from the cook: ‘I think I’ll still with Yotam’s paella, thank you very much…’