Vegetable paella with char-grilled artichokes

The perfect vegetable paella recipe has been on my hit list for a while now so when @flabulousbloggr AKA Fat Man in a Kaftan AKA James my HR manager offered to lend me his paella dish it was finally time to make this happen. Admittedly the dish did languish on my desk and then in my kitchen for several weeks (months) before I actually got around to cooking it though. Somehow in the interim I had lost my enthusiasm for paella and wasn’t fancying a rice dish for dinner as it just didn’t feel exciting enough. I was wrong. When I did finally get around to making it I was instantly converted; I am officially a paella fanatic. I have of course tried paella several times from restaurants and street-food vendors but have sometimes found it to be pretty stodgy. This was not the case with this  home made version which was light, fresh, flavoursome and packed with vegetables.

Paella is amazing because it has a similar richness and creamyness to risotto but without the need for constant stirring; you can just let it simmer away and do it’s thing- in fact for best paella results you should refrain from interfering altogether! I bought saffron especially to make my paella as traditional recipes always include it and this seemed a good excuse for me discover what all the fuss was about; saffron is the most expensive spice in the world worth more than its weight in gold so I don’t tend to keep it in my store cupboard as a staple. It did add a wonderful earthy bitter-sweet flavour to the rice and also gave a distinctive yellow colour to the dish and a little goes a long way.  This vegetable paella recipe includes good-quality deli style grilled artichokes and olives which give a salty and savoury flavour which balances with the sweetness of the peppers and petit pois nicely.

vegetable veggie paella

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300g of paella rice 
  • 3tsp  paprika
  • 1½pt of good quality vegetable stock
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g runner beans, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 a yellow pepper, chopped
  • half a jar of grilled artichoke hearts
  • handful of olives
  • handful of petit pois
  • 2tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and sautee the onion and garlic until soft
  • Add the cayenne pepper, paprika and salt and pepper then add the rice and stir to coat the rice in the oil and spices
  • Add the stock and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil
  • Simmer for around 10 minutes or until some of the moisture has evaporated
  • Add the runner beans, peppers and petite pois, cook for another 10 minutes before finally adding the artichoke, olives and lemon juice to serve

vegetarian paella

Vegetable paella

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