IGA, the supermarket chain in Montreal hands out recipes to its shoppers in order to sell its inline products. I sometimes buy those products, depending on my budget, but I mostly don't, because I like using my favourite brands.
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons authentico olive oil (or your favourite kind)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 225 g arborio rice
- 2 1⁄2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (19 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup mushroom, sliced
- 1 cup green beans, cut into segments
- 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Pour 3 tablespoons water over saffron in a small bowl and set aside.
- Sprinkle salt over the eggplant chunks and let stand in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the onion, garlic, peppers and eggplant for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and toss.
- Add the rice, then incorporate the vegetable stock, tomatoes, saffron and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently.
- Fold in the mushrooms, green beans and chickpeas.
- Cook for another 15 minutes and serve immediately.
This paella tastes great! The only thing I would do differently next time is put the green beans in a bit earlier because mine were a bit hard and didn't get cooked properly. Couldn't really tell if the saffron made a difference in the taste because all the other tastes were so strong. If I didn't have any in the house I certainly would not buy any just for this recipe. We will be making this one again :)
It is my understanding from tv chefs that Saffron does not provide taste; it only provides color. I would use the saffron rice.
I was so excited to be shopping for this recipe because I love paella and I was so happy to find a vegetarian version! But my excitement came to a screeching halt at the spice aisle! I couldn't justify $20 for a spice for which I only needed 1/16 teaspoon... (And you don't get a jar full - you get an envelope of saffron which is wedged into the jar and frankly, the envelope appeared pretty empty. What is this stuff - gold dust?). Sadly, I deduced that this would most likely be the KEY ingredient in this recipe. I perked up at the rice aisle where I found yellow saffron rice and I used that instead of the other rice. I have no idea what 1/16 tsp of saffron would have done but dinner turned out delicious afterall! (And now I'm wondering what it would take to grow and resale saffron...?) Thanks for posting this recipe!