Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Friday: Vegetarian Paella

Before I became a non fish-eating vegetarian 8 years ago, I loved seafood. Really really loved it. My dad used to cook salmon, mussels and other types of seafood for me. When we went to Spain, I always had paella. And since we often went to Spain because my mom is a Spanish teacher, I've had real paella a bunch of times. I didn't think there was a way I could make a vegetarian version of paella, until I stumbled upon this recipe a couple of months ago. Of course, it's not the real thing, but there are dishes that we vegetarians miss sometimes, and we just like to recreate them without the meat and seafood. 

This was my second time making this paella, and it just wasn't as tasty as the first time, though it was still very good. Maybe I cooked the rice too long, or ground saffron wasn't the way to go, or my vegetables weren't up to par. Next time, I'll use regular tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes, as well as saffron threads, and maybe a green bell pepper. 


Vegetarian paella (adapted from this recipe)
Serves 2. 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I sliced it; not something I'd recommend)
  • 1 small bell pepper (mine was an orange pepper, red or green is better)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup paella rice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground saffron (or a few saffron threads)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 cup tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas
  • a dozen pimiento stuffed green olives (mine weren't stuffed)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 7 small artichoke hearts, chopped


Cook rice for half the time recommended on the package. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, chop up the vegetables. Hopefully, your vegetables are tastier than mine. 



Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan, or paella pan if you have one. I had one, but used the wrong pan. Typical. 

Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. 


Add the rice, broth, saffron and thyme. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add chopped tomato, green peas, olives, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, black pepper and artichoke hearts. 



Cook until rice is tender, or approximately 2-3 minutes. 


Garnish with the rest of the parsley before serving. 



Heloise said...

Je suis désolée cousine, mais il faut surtout mettre des fruits de mer dans une paëlla ! Ok, c'est une végétarienne ta paëlla, mais ce n'est pas un plat végétarien ;)

Anne said...

Il faut bien adapter les plats, même si finalement, ce n'est plus le même plat.

Heloise said...

Je rigolais bien entendu hein :)
Ca à l'air très appétissant !

Anne said...

Oui, je sais. J'adorais vraiment les moules dans la paella. Miam.

Jacqueline said...

How pretty -- I love these type of individual shots for recipes. It looks delish.

Anne said...

Thanks, Jacqueline. It was pretty tasty.