How to make a Vegetarian Paella.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 6 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 large red pepper, core and seeds removed
- 100g runner beans, finely sliced on an angle
- 12 green asparagus, chopped into small pieces
- 100g frozen peas
- 1 small can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 small grilled artichokes in oil from a jar, drained and cut into halves
- 400g paella rice
- 1 teaspoon of Spanish sweet smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon of saffron threads
- 200ml tomato sofrito sauce
- 800ml of hot vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- Lemon wedges to garnish
- Pre-heat your oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 5.
- To prepare the red pepper, pre-heat the oven grill and cut the peppers in half lengthways. Place both halves on a roasting tin, skin side up and brush with some olive oil and place under the grill and cook until the skins are completely black. Remove from the heat and cover with a tea towel. Once the pepper halves are cooled down, peel the skins off and cut into long strips and set aside.
- Prepare the saffron by lightly toasting the threads on a low heat in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Transfer the threads into a pestle and mortar and lightly crush them. Pour 4 tablespoons of the hot stock and cover to infuse while you make the paella rice.
- In a large paella pan (45cm diameter) or a large shallow casserole dish, heat one tablespoon of the oil. Once hot, add the runner beans and green asparagus and fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown, season with salt. Remove from the pan and set aside. Allow the paella pan to cool down for a couple of minutes.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the paella pan and gently fry on a low heat the chopped garlic and spring onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the paella rice and stir for a few minutes on a gentle heat until the rice is slightly translucent. Add the smoked paprika and stir the rice for 30 seconds, followed by the tomato sofrito sauce. Once the sofrito has cooked into the rice, pour in the hot vegetable stock, followed by the saffron infused stock, frozen peas, red pepper slices and white beans. Season with salt and spread the rice out evenly to cover the bottom of the paella pan.
- Bring the paella to the boil. If you have a timer, set it to 17 minutes. The first 5 minutes, cook the paella on a very high heat until the rice rises to the surface. Check the stock for seasoning and add some more salt if necessary, stir the rice, add the grilled artichoke halves, fried runner beans and asparagus and place the pan in the oven. After 12 minutes, remove the pan from the oven.
- Allow the paella to rest for 5 minutes before serving garnished with lemon wedges.
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