Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon
Peas, Fennel, Onion
Lemon Olive Oil, Basil, Black Pepper
“Cooking is a love affair. It’s all about falling in love with your ingredients.”
Ingredients. Ingredients were the inspiration for this “casserole.” A brown paper bag full of gorgeous Meyer Lemons from my friend Judy’s yard. A Christmas gift of heavenly Lemon Olive Oil from my friend Allison. (Thank you, ladies). A charming cloth bag of arroz tradicional from Spain. And irresistible fresh baby octopus at my local Korean market.
“You can’t cook well without good ingredients. If you don’t treat the ingredient and its flavors with respect, if you drown it in oil, even good olive oil, you spoil it.”
In his fabulous new book Nature, French Master Chef Alain Ducasse shares “simple, healthy, and good” recipes featuring plenty of fruit and vegetables, grains with a little meat or fish, all cooked in olive oil. My dish is an adaptation of his “Spanish Rice with Squid and Lemon.”
Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon Recipe
- 3 T. lemon olive oil
- 3/4 c. fennel, diced
- 3/4 c. white onion, diced
- 3/4 lb. par boiled baby octopus, sliced
- 1 c. paella rice
- 3/4 c. frozen petite peas
- 1 meyer lemon, sliced into half-wheels, seeded
- 2 c. cold water
Saute fennel and onion in lemon olive oil until translucent. Add the baby octopus, stir, and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the rice, stir to coat the grains.
Add water, peas, lemon, and salt. Stir to combine, bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the rice is al dente.
Serve nice and hot in the cooking vessel.
Garnish with several grinds of black pepper, a drizzle of lemon olive oil, and ribbons of fresh basil.
Comfort Food Feast
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7 thoughts on “Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon”
‘Cooking is a love affair . . .’ [Ducasse] ` is it not ever!! Here you have taken a few ingredients most of us have at home . . . well, squid is hardly difficult to access and the offered baby octopus I can buy even in semi-rural Australia! Look what you have produced ~ I cannot wait to copy . . . thank you!!!!
This is the year that I’m going way, way out on the limb with my cooking. The Paella Rice with Baby Octopus & Meyer Lemon looks like a great place to start. Unfortunately no one gifted me with any of those special food gifts but, what the heck. This looks like a lovely recipe.