Something about the sight of a lovingly cooked paella fills us with happiness. That moment when the hot twin-handled pan is set down at the centre of the table, ready to be shared among family and friends, encapsulates the joy of communal Spanish eating. That’s why we’re such fans of this wonderful Instagram account by chef David Montero, which is dedicated to the art of cooking paellas, rices (and the occasional fideuà).
David was born and bred in Valencia, the spiritual home of paella, and most mornings you can find him in the city’s great cathedral of fresh food, the Mercado Central, chatting to his favourite vendors and selecting ingredients for the day ahead. David is a master of the traditional rice dishes of the region such as paella valenciana, arroz a banda and arroz al horno. But he also likes to experiment with less conventional recipes. The results often have us drooling over our smartphones. Here’s a little selection from his repertoir:
Rice with squid and spring garlic.
Arroz al horno: rice, garbanzo beans, morcilla (blood sausage), pork ribs, potato, tomatoes.
Rice with quail eggs and jamón de pato (cured duck).
Rice with prawns, mussels and chard.
Rice with morcilla and pine nuts.
Rice with lobster, squid and pumpkin.
Rice with ginger, mint and tumeric.
Rice with squid, artichoke and pumpkin.
Rice with garlic baby eels and black olives.
Rice with aubergine, squid and peppers.
Rice with artichokes and ribs.
Paella valenciana: rice with chicken, rabbit, butter beans and runner beans.
Wholemeal rice with red onion and courgettes.
Rice with chicken gizzards, foie and sweet peppers.
Fideuà with squid and coconut.
Fideuà with cauliflower and pumpkin.
Arroz a banda: rice with cuttlefish, squid and prawns.
Rice with pumpkin and squid.