On arrival to the agroturismo, we were offered an aperitivo, with olives, crisps, bread, cheeses, and white wine from the region, produced by a nearby vineyard.
After we had either opened our appetite or obliterated it with cheese, it was time to have dinner.
This was the opening, and I really liked its simplicity: bread, rosemary, olive oil and very mature figs. The combination of sweet and salty worked really well, and the rosemary added that extra complexity of aromas for a memorable snack.
✍🏼 Adding it to my list of “things to replicate at home” 🤓
Paella is a very simple dish that Valencian peasants would cook using cheap, fresh and widely available ingredients. Yet despite its innate simplicity, people repeatedly misunderstand and complicate it, causing us Valencians a great deal of stress in the process, because we know it could be so much better and yet people keep insisting on bastardising our national dish in every possible way! 😭
Also if you, like me, do not live in Valencia and hence do not have access to some of the “niche” local ingredients, I will also provide acceptable replacements that follow the original spirit. I live in the UK, so my suggestions will reflect what I can find in local markets and supermarkets. If it’s not in my list, it quite probably is not acceptable, so don’t add it 😜