Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian Paella – Paella de Verduras

Two ingredients are especially critical for making an authentic Spanish paella. The first is Spanish sort grained rice — especially rice from Calasparra, either Bomba or regular. These are special Spanish rices that absorb large amounts of the broth without becoming creamy or sticky — as arborio and Asian rices do. Second is smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera) lends a depth of flavor which is unique to Spanish cuisine. It is the secret ingredient that makes a paella authentic.

Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 piquillo peppers
1 large bermuda or Vidalia onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
3 large cloves or garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 – 1/2 tsp bittersweet Spanish paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
5 – 10 strands of saffron
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cubed
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Bomba rice, or Calasparra rice
3 cups vegetable stock, or 2 cubes vegetable bouillon. Keep stock warm.
Finely minced parsley

In a 13″ paella pan, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add the Piquillo peppers, onion and bell peppers. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, saffron, zucchini and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in the rice and warmed stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until most of the stock is absorbed.
Cover with foil, put in 350 F oven for another 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
To serve, decorate with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.


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