This kosher, vegan paella recipe owes its inspiration to Studentchef's "Vegetarian Paella" (Thank you, Studentchef!) This is a variation of that recipe that contains more traditional paella flavors and is made in such a way that creates a "socarrat", the crusty layer of browned, caramelized rice at the bottom of the pan which adds a certain je ne sais quois to paella. The wider your pan is, the thinner the layer of rice will be and the more flavorful, chewy socarrat you will be able to create. You can also try replacing some of the broth with a splash of white wine, and using marinated artichoke hearts in addition to the other vegetables.
- 1 pinch saffron (approximately 1/2 tsp)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 2 teaspoons sweet spanish paprika
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 3 1⁄2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup mushroom, sliced
- 1 cup green beans, cut into thirds
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1⁄4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (optional)
- Cover saffron with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside. Sprinkle eggplant chunks with salt and allow to sit in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain the eggplant.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan. Saute the onion, garlic, cilantro, peppers and eggplant for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and toss. Then add rice, vegetable stock, tomatoes, saffron (along with the water it's been soaking in), salt, cayenne, thyme and generous amounts of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, uncovered. Stir frequently.
- Add the mushrooms, green beans and chickpeas. Cook uncovered, stirring often, for another 15 minutes or until the rice has become tender but is still al dente, and the sauce has thickened. Additional broth, water or white wine may be added as needed during cooking to keep the rice moist.
- Turn the heat up to high for 5 minutes or until a browned, caramelized crust forms on the bottom side of the rice. Test for this crust by inserting a fork into the paella and checking for resistance at the bottom. Watch carefully to make sure the rice does not burn. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before garnishing with fresh parsley and olive slices. Serve hot.
i used double the rice and ended up using about 5 cups of broth. next time i will substitute for the green beans - asparagus - and eggplant - more mushrooms and half the whole recipe as my pan isn't big enough. but it came out great and will definitely be making this again. thanks!
I did tweak the recipe slightly. I didn`t have eggplant so used zucchini. For the paprika I used 1tsp smoked & 1tsp sweet. I found that 2.5 cups of stock were enough, but added 1/4 cup red wine. A great recipe, that you can add lot of different veg, according to what you have on hand.
This is a wonderful spanish dish. You can do it with just about any- thing you want, any kind of meat, fish, seafood, or poultry , and vegetables you want. It always ends up perfect.