Stories / Recipes

Perfect Paella is the Best Al Fresco Entrée

Frank Guerriero

May 22, 2019


Photo: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

As the cloudy spring skies begin to clear up, we’re seizing every opportunity to enjoy a meal outside. Forgo the tried-and-true burgers and ‘dogs and take a chance on a standby of Spanish al fresco dining, paella. This #WasteNotWednesday, multiple–JBF Award nominee and Chefs Boot Camp alum Katie Button supplies a versatile (and vegetarian!) version of the classic.

Button first simmers a broth made with whatever vegetable scraps she’s stocked up in the freezer, then whips up a homemade aïoli. She starts the paella by sautéing artichokes, mushrooms, and bell peppers, but Button urges you to use whatever is locally and seasonally available—this dish is delicious year-round. She continues building the dish with onion and grated tomato, then simmers specialty Bomba rice in the homemade veg stock until it’s time to crank the heat and crisp up the bottom. Pro-tip: Button insists that you let the dish rest for at least ten minutes after cooking to ensure the signature, nearly burned socarrat. It’s the ideal family-style centerpiece to devour in a backyard, on a balcony, or next to the open windows of your studio apartment. Get the recipe.

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The James Beard Foundation's new cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, offers up a host of delicious solutions to the pressing problem of food waste. Featuring 100 recipes from alumni of our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and ChangeWaste Not will teach you how to turn every root, bone, rind, and stem into an irresistible dish.

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, published by Rizzoli,​ is on sale now.​ Order your copy today!

Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.