Jackie’s Vegetable Paella

Today I was remembering our friend Jackie and having come across one of her favourite recipes for Vegetarian Paella that she had given me, I thought I would make it and share her recipe here.

This delicious paella is a variation on the classic paella and chock-full of vegetables. The flavours come together so well that I am sure you will love it. With all the different vegetables it makes a nutritious and satisfying meal.

(I didn’t have turmeric in the pantry unfortunately but I am sure it would have given the rice a nice golden colour and some extra flavour. It was so delicious nonetheless)

This recipe makes 2 generous portions.

Remembering the happy times and laughter, I raise a glass to you dear Jackie and the Vegetable Paella was fantastic!

Jackie’s Vegetable Paella

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tblsp olive oil
  • ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red and 1 small yellow capsicum, cut into strips
  • ½ fennel bulb, cut into strips
  • 2  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2  bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 150 gram(s) Calasparra rice (or another paella rice) – Arborio works
  • 100 ml good quality, medium sherry
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • 450 ml boiling vegetable stock
  • 200 g broad beans (frozen or fresh)
  • 12  mini Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 12 quarters of marinated, grilled artichokes in oil
  • 15  pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 4  lemon wedges
  • salt

Method:

1.Heat up the olive oil in a paella pan, or a large shallow frying pan over a medium heat

2.Add the chopped Spanish onion and gently fry for 5 minutes taking care not to let it catch.

3. Steep the saffron threads in the hot vegetable stock while you continue

3.Add the capsicum and fennel and continue to fry on a medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until soft and golden.

4.Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute.

5.Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne pepper to the vegetables and stir well.

6.Then add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes. This will be the only time to stir the rice so do it well to cover all the grains

7. Add the sherry and boil down for a minute,

8.Then add the vegetable stock with the saffron threads in it and a teaspoon of salt.

9.Reduce the heat to the minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.

Do not cover the pan and don’t stir the rice during the cooking.

10. while the rice is cooking, grill or pan fry the halved mini Roma tomatoes for a few minutes and set aside

11.Meanwhile take the frozen broad beans and cover with cold water and bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Then drain and leave to cool down

12. If using fresh broad beans, cover them with boiling water in a bowl and leave for a minute or two, then drain well and leave to cool down.

13. Now squeeze each bean gently to remove the skin and discard it.

14. Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste if the rice is cooked and add adjust the seasoning if needed but without stirring the rice and vegetables much.

15.Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and broad beans over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil.

16.Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

17. Then remove the foil. Scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley.

18. Serve with wedges of lemon.

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