Paella is one of the star dishes of Spanish gastronomy. Everywhere you come into contact with the Mediterranean you can eat a good plate of it, although it is actually served all over the country. However, the recipe has its origins in Valencia. It can be eaten with seafood, meat and other ingredients depending on the taste of the diners. But what can be eaten with this main dish? There are several excellent starters to enjoy before this recipe, or even dishes to enjoy while you eat paella as your main or only course. Of course, you can also opt for a dessert to finish the meal with a sweet or sour touch.
To find out what to accompany paella and how to make each dish, at unCOMO we recommend that you continue reading this article where you will see a list of ideas.
In addition to salad, you can opt for other starters to accompany a paella. One of them is gazpacho, a refreshing and easy option to have before a dish as hearty as this one. To make gazpacho, you need tomato, cucumber, garlic, oil, salt, water and vinegar and follow these simple steps:
- After chopping all the ingredients and combining them with the oil, vinegar, salt and a little water, you will have to blend everything for 4 minutes with a blender to achieve the best texture.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and skins if you have not removed them completely before.
- Keep the gazpacho in the fridge for two hours. Gazpacho is best eaten cold, so it is essential to put it in the fridge before serving.
Grilled or grilled vegetables
Can’t think of many ideas to accompany paella? Use basic products, such as grilled, grilled or baked vegetables. Choose the vegetables you like best (e.g. pepper, courgette, potato and onion) and grill them on the embers if you have them, or in a frying pan or on a grill. Another option is to prepare them in the oven, but prepared in these ways and with a little oil and salt, they will be a delicious and balanced accompaniment to paella. Here is a brief description of how to make grilled vegetables:
- Grill the vegetables over a medium heat for 15 minutes: you must be aware of when they are soft so as not to overcook them.
- As the vegetables are cooked (each one needs a different cooking time), place them on the plate.
- Before serving, add a dressing of your choice, including salt and olive oil.
Tomato and lettuce salad
Paella is a very complete dish, so if you want to serve a starter, opt for a light preparation. A salad to accompany paella is a great alternative: lettuce and tomato will be enough. How to make it to enhance its flavour? Follow these steps and you will succeed:
- Wash the lettuce and tomatoes you are going to serve well.
- Chop the tomatoes together with the lettuce. Both ingredients should be combined in a proportionate way.
- Dress the salad with a little salt, oil and, if you like, vinegar. The dressing will be essential for it to taste good and not be bland.
- Optionally, add onion, olives and tuna to the salad. This depends on taste, but lettuce, tomato and a good dressing is enough to make a great side salad for paella.
Steamed mussels tapa
A tapa of mussels can be a good resource if you don’t know what to accompany your seafood, mixed or vegetable paella with. Steaming them will make a starter that is as simple as it is tasty. To make it, follow these steps:
- Clean the mussels and put them in a pot with half a glass of water and add a few bay leaves and a quarter of a lemon.
- Cover the pot and turn the heat to medium.
- In this way, the mussels will open little by little. Stir them as they open.
- Once they are open, remove one of the two shells from each mussel to serve them in a single shell and make them easier to eat.
Wines to drink with paella
Wine is one of the best drinks to accompany paella. Among the wines recommended for paella are the classic white wines, such as verdejo or godello in the case of Valencian paella.
For seafood paella, white wines are also a good choice. On the other hand, for vegetable-only paellas, it is better to go for a rosé wine that provides freshness and lightness. Finally, black paellas or black rice dishes require a more sparkling wine to provide a sweetness that combines perfectly with this type of paella.
If you are already going to eat a big main course and you don’t want any more savoury accompaniments, you can opt for a dessert to accompany the paella, such as lemon sorbet. This way, you will finish the meal with a refreshing flavour that will help digest the main course. With lemons, sugar, egg white and water you will have all the ingredients to make this dessert. Follow the instructions below to make lemon sorbet:
- Prepare the syrup by boiling half a litre of water together with 200 grams of sugar. Stirring the mixture, you will obtain a very light syrup that you will leave to cool in a jug.
- Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice through a sieve.
- Mix the lemon juice with the cold syrup.
- Put the sorbet in the freezer for up to 2 hours.
- When you take the sorbet out of the freezer, add two egg whites and mix everything with a whisk.
- Add a little lemon zest and freeze the sorbet until you are ready to serve it.