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Lakeside Paella

This paella is heavy on the vegetables and seafood and light on the rice. I see the function of the rice here as a sponge for all the lovely juices and flavours that meld as they cook. Get all your guests with this dish – get them to help you chop vegetables, and make sure everyone takes a turn stirring the paella!


  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil

  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped leeks, washed

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) diced celery

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) diced carrot

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram

  • 2 cups (500 mL) Arborio or Carnaroli rice

  • 8 cups (2L) chicken stock or water

  • 3-4 threads saffron

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh corn, taken off the cob

  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced red, orange or green (or mixed) bell pepper

  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced zucchini

  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced tomato

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 pounds (900 g) pasta clams, washed

  • 2 pounds (900 g) mussels, washed with beards removed

  • 1 lb. (450 g) diced white fish, such perch or pickerel, or other fish, such as salmon

  • 1 lb. (450 g) peeled shrimp

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh dill

  • salt and pepper


  • 1.

    In a large sauté pan (or other flat-bottomed pan) over medium heat, heat oil and add leeks, celery, carrot and oregano or marjoram. Sauté until leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté 4 minutes, to coat with oil.

  • 2.

    Pour in 3 cups of stock, add saffron and stir until mixture begins to simmer. Add corn, pepper, zucchini, tomato and another 3 cups of stock.

  • 3.

    Once simmering again, add clams and cook until they begin to open. Add mussels, and again, simmer until they begin to open, adding more stock if needed. Add white fish and shrimp and stir until shrimp turn pink.

  • 4.

    Check that rice is tender (and cook a bit longer if needed), then add lemon juice, dill and season to taste. Serve immediately.

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