It’s been a while since I have posted, but you know how it is, life got busy. But I’ve had some time off and did a lot of cooking! One of the dishes I made is a vegetarian take on a traditional Spanish dish, Paella. Paella is a rice dish with vegetables often made with seafood and sausages. It originated in the city of Valencia, and the word Paella comes from the Valencian word paila meaning cooking pan. What’s unique about Paella is it’s often found being made in the streets of Spain in large wide clay pans over a big fire.
My Artichoke Paella dish was made with risotto, or arborio rice, which gives that thick and sticky consistency with vegetable broth and white wine. I made it in a large wok, as I don’t have an official Paella pan. As the risotto’s cooking, I add the vegetables, so it ends up being all in one pan – I love to save on dishes when I can 😉 I picked vegetables that would go well with the artichokes, also just what I had in the fridge. Lentils for protein, green beans or artichokes, zucchini, tomatoes, spiced with saffron and lemon to make it nice and yellow!
This dish was a lot of fun to make because it’s simple and unique. It’s great for a gang, and you can really use whatever vegetables you have. Hope you enjoy!
1/2 tsp saffron threads (soaked in 2 tbsp of hot water)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup capers
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup white wine
1 stock of leek or just 1 onion
1/2 red or green bell pepper
1 jar or can of artichoke hearts
1 bunch of green beans or asparagus (whichever you have or prefer!)
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 lemon cut in wedges to serve
Heat the olive oil in your wok, or large pan. Add the leeks, garlic, paprika, and cayenne pepper till fragrant, make sure not to burn the garlic. Add the vegetables to the plan excluding the asparagus (to keep them crunchy). Cook the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes then set them aside in a bowl.
Add the arborio rice and lentils to the pan, mix around to coat the rice and lentils with oil, the rice will become lately browned after 2-3 minutes.
Start slowly adding the vegetable broth and white wine on high heat – don’t over stir. This takes a bit of time, add the liquids, let it absorb and keep adding more.
When the lentils are soft and the rice is plump add the vegetables including the asparagus, capers salt and pepper and stir around. Cook on a medium high 5 minutes stirring gently, then turn to simmer and cover until ready to serve.