Summer invariably leads to thoughts of the beach, which inevitably remind me of a vegetable paella that I ate on a beach in Denia, Alicante, several years ago. There have been many paellas in my life, and I am fortunate to say that many of them have been both memorable and excellent, but nothing has ever topped the memory I have of that particular one – inhaled at a restaurant whose name eludes me.
Vegetable paella? I’d wager that this isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about this traditional and world-famous Spanish rice dish, but it serves as a fine testament to the fact that paella comes in many different styles, with many different possible ingredients.
This is where Spanish chef Alberto Herráiz’s book, Paella (Phaidon Press, 2009), comes in. This book contains everything you need to know about this iconic dish, from cooking and preparation tips, to 108 recipes that incorporate a huge range of different ingredients, styles and cooking techniques.
A not-to-miss paella “Bible”, with something for everyone. Who knows? It may even have the recipe that I’ve been dreaming about all these years.