I’ll admit, this was one of the most boujee mid-week dinners I think I’ve ever made. But, my excuse is that I’ve had a couple of days off to spend with G & I’s new puppy (Roka!) and so I was feeling adventurous on Tuesday evening. As with most of the recipes I’ve posted recently, I’ve been experimenting with new cookbooks that I got for Christmas and this one is from ‘The Hairy Biker’s Veggie Feasts‘ and I can tell you that this was an absolute FEAST! Who knew, artichoke and fennel paella would taste and look so good?! Well G rated it one of his favourite meals that I’ve ever made, so you can take that how you wish (his other fave being vegan corn fritters!)…
I always get a bit nervous about cooking paella or risotto from cookbooks because usually they say ‘cook the rice for 15 minutes and then it’s ready’ and well… it never is ready and takes WAY longer to cook. Is it just me that finds that?! Anyways, given this recipe calls for you not to stir the rice/add any more water I really wasn’t sure how well the rice would cook. But, I fought my inner judgement and followed the method as laid out by the Hairy Biker’s and I’m glad I did – it was perfectly cooked and didn’t rely on me standing over the hob worrying.
I was also a bit nervous about the fennel, because although it sounds fancy, I’ve not really had it much before. It was only when I googled the best way to slice it into wedges that someone described it as having a liquorice smell/flavour. I hate liquorice so I was very uncertain to how this dish would turn out. What I would say is… don’t let this put you off because combined with all the other ingredients in the dish (and with them being chargrilled beforehand) they are absolutely DELICIOUS and just add a texture and flavour in a way that’s actually hard to describe – just really yummy!
Overall a 10/10 dinner and personally think it’s a real showstopper!! Would definitely make this again for G & I, perhaps even a dinner party.
So without further ado I give you the Hairy Biker’s Artichoke & Fennel Paella… Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!