The best paella I’ve had was when I visited Spain and since then I had been looking for a vegetarian paella recipe. I’m so glad I found this one with roasted veggies. If you’re a rice lover like I am, give this one a try!
recipe courtesy Ina Garten
- 2 pounds Holland bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 2 pounds fennel bulbs, tops and cores removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 pound baby eggplants, unpeeled, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large red onion, 3/4-inch-diced
- Good olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (3/4-inch-diced) yellow onions (2 onions)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups Spanish paella rice, such as Calasparra
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, undrained, such as Mancini
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
- 5 to 6 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 ounces freshly grated aged Manchego cheese
- 1/2 cup pitted Manzanilla or Cerignola olives, halved
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Position two racks evenly spaced in the oven.
Put the bell peppers, fennel, eggplants, and red onion in a large bowl, add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper, and toss. Divide the vegetables between two sheet pans and spread in one layer. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a 14- to 16-inch paella pan or large (11-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Add the yellow onions and saute for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and saffron and cook for one minute. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the rice with oil. Place the jarred peppers (including their liquid) and paprika in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until pureed. Pour the mixture into the paella pan, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of the hot stock and 2 teaspoons salt and cook uncovered over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, as you would cook risotto. Continue to cook the rice over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring in 1 cup of hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is al dente
Add the vegetables to the paella, add one more cup of stock, and stir carefully. If the paella is dry, add more hot stock. Off the heat, stir in the Manchego cheese, olives, and scallions. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.