My first post for nearly a week because our daughter has been staying with us and we’ve been too busy having fun. She eats fish but not meat and yesterday, since we needed a quiet day after a couple of long days and late nights out, we made paella in the garden using the vegetables that are growing there now. Paella always tastes best, I think, when it’s made outdoors on a wood or charcoal fire and this is what we try to do, weather permitting, throughout the year. As an omnivore, I also think it tastes best with meat (chicken, pork, rabbit) in it, but in this one the aubergine really did give it a ‘meaty’ flavour and it was very good.
We picked these vegetables, including one of our first red peppers and a couple that were supposed to be red but seem to have turned out to be orange, and a courgette that had grown rather large but was still tender and a sweet onion that isn’t in this picture. Straight from the plants and into the pan:
We sautéed the vegetables in olive oil, the red and orange peppers in strips and the others in chunks, put the pepper strips to one side for later, added chopped garlic, a cheating paella spice mix that includes saffron and paprika, some sprigs of rosemary, rice, the juice of a lemon, a glass of white wine, salt and water, and simmered until the rice was cooked. Then we added some mussels that we’d cooked earlier and the strips of pepper, covered the pan and left it to rest for 10 minutes or so. And then it was ready to eat at a table in the shade.
We’ve picked the first few Turkish pink tomatoes, grown from seed sent to me by beste. They tasted lovely in a simple salad with salt, garlic and olive oil. I think you can see the difference in colour between them (the two on the right) and the red Languedocian tomatoes here – to the eye they were much more obviously pink than they look here.