Vegetable Paella

This should make enough to feed 4-5 people. You could feed more by adding a little more rice, or adding extra vegetables such as peas (towards the end) or artichokes (when the peppers are added) or by serving with bread to mop up the oil.

300g Paella rice – I used Bomba
about 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 onion – finely sliced
5 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
1 red pepper – seeded and cut into thick strips
1 yellow pepper – seeded and cut into thick strips
2 courgettes – cut into 5mm rounds
2 carrots – peeled and cut into 5mm rounds
1x280g jar of mixed mushrooms – drained (you can use fresh mushrooms here)
75g pitted whole black olives
1 tablespoon paprika
approx 400ml vegetable stock
good pinch saffron
bunch of flat leaf parsley – roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Place the rice in a pan or bowl, cover in water and leave to soak. This allows the rice to swell a little and reduces the cooking time.

Take a paella dish, large frying pan or wok and heat the olive oil over a high heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until soft, then add the paprika, stir and add the carrots, courgettes and peppers. Fry on a high heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start for brown off, or preferably char a little. Now add the mushrooms.

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Make sure the stock is very hot, add the pinch of saffron to the hot stock and keep this simmering.

Drain the rice and add to the vegetables, stirring to coat the rice with the paprika flavoured oil. Now add about 300ml of the stock and saffron mixture and stir continuously. Add the rest of the stock, turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid of with tin foil. Leave for about 15-20 minutes until the rice has absorbed the stock and is nicely cooked.

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Remove the lid or foil, turn the heat back up high, season with about 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous grinding a black pepper, then stir in the olives and parsley.

Take the paella dish the the table and serve immediately with a nice green salad and a glass of Rioja.

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