Vegetable Paella

Vegetable Paella

Traditional paella is usually filled with a variety of meat and seafood, but this one highlights an array of hearty vegetables.

Sticking to the Spanish cuisine flavors, this recipe includes artichokes, bell peppers, fennel and peas. Onions and kalamata olives also bring their flavors to the dish.

Roast the artichokes and peppers and toss them in a bright, lemony sauce and saute the fennel with the onion. 

Cooked first on the stovetop, then in the oven yields a beautiful dish. You will need at least a 6-quart Dutch oven for this recipe.

Bomba rice is the most traditional rice for this dish, but you can use any variety of Valencia rice. If you cannot find Valencia rice, substitute Arborio rice.

Vegetable Paella

Makes 6 servings

3 cups jarred whole baby artichokes packed in water, quartered, rinsed and patted dry

2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped coarse

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

9 garlic cloves, peeled (3 whole, 6 minced)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 onion, chopped fine

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, minced, and drained again

2 cups Bomba rice

3 cups vegetable broth

⅓ cup dry white wine

½ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

½ cup frozen peas, thawed

Cook This: Southern Tomato Pie. With cheese and mayo. Yes, that one

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450 F. Toss artichokes and peppers with olives, whole garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl. Spread vegetables in hot sheet and roast until artichokes are browned around edges and peppers are browned, 20 to 25 minutes; let cool slightly.

2. Mince roasted garlic. In large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons parsley, lemon juice, and minced roasted garlic together. Add roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and fennel and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Stir in remaining minced garlic and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and cook until mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, wine, saffron, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

5. Sprinkle roasted vegetables and peas over rice, cover and let paella sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.