Vibrant, vegan, with rainbow coloured vegetables, and best of all, super tasty.
This Spanish Paella is almost as good as the ones I grew up enjoying in Venezuala.
Serves 4 - 6
2 tblspns olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 capsicums (red, yellow, or both!), cored and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups green beans or asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
450g tomatoes, seeded and diced or you could just use 1 tin of diced tomatoes
1 ½ tspns smoked paprika
2 – 3 bay leaves
1 ½ cups bomba paella rice (or medium grain rice)
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ tspn of tumeric or a pinch of saffron threads
½ tspn salt, to taste
1 400g tin artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen, thawed)
sherry and extra olive oil, to serve
Heat olive oil in a large flat-bottomed pan or paella pan. Add onions and capsicum, and cook until tender and beginning to soften. Add garlic, green beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, and bay leaves, cook for another 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want your vegetables. Stir often.
Add the rice, stock, saffron or turmeric, and salt. Gently move the vegetables so as much of the rice is in the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Don't stir the rice. If using a big paella pan, you’ll want to shift the pan around on the burner occasionally to help the rice cook evenly. If the liquids are boiling off too quickly, add a small bit of extra warm water or stock.
Scatter the peas and artichoke hearts on top of the rice and vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
Turn the heat off and cover for 10 minutes with a tea towel or something else to allow the rice to absorb any remaining liquid and steam the peas and artichokes a bit more.
Remove the bay leaves and lightly fluff the rice.
Spoon into bowls and serve drizzled with sherry and extra olive oil. This part is very important. Just the way we ate it in Venezuala.