Week 30, Meal 3: Mixed veggies

Chef Brian gave me the option of using bomba rice or jasmine rice for Week 3, Meal 3: Vegetarian paella, but I really wanted the bomba to keep this as authentic as possible.

Lucky for me, Dave was willing to take me on  a whim to La Espanola Meats in Harbor City to pick up the rice and nosh on some righteous paella. Theirs came with a charcuterie plate (with marinated olives I’m still dreaming about) and was packed with rabbit, chorizo, chicken and shrimp. It’s only served on Saturdays and if you’re anywhere close, you need to check it out.

But for the finale to our vegetarian menu, we’re ditching the meat and piling on the veggies. Everything is fresh, yet I’d file it under “stick to your ribs” because it’s so filling.

Follow the jump for the recipe and the how-to.

The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)

Week 30, Meal 3: Vegetarian paella

2 c vegetable stock
2 t smoked paprika
1 pinch saffron
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, medium diced
1 cup bomba rice (If you can’t find bomba, use jasmine)
3 roma tomatoes, 2 pureed and 1 seeded and diced
1 can (6 oz.) artichoke hearts
6 oz. asparagus, bottoms trimmed and discarded, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 c peas, blanched if fresh (use frozen right now, fresh in spring)

There’s a lot of prep, but you’ll only need two pans to knock this one out. First, puree the tomatoes that need pureein’.

Knock out the mise: Prep the other tomato, asparagus, artichoke, peas, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, parsley and rice. If you lay out all of the ingredients first, everything from after moves quick.

In a small pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add smoked paprika, saffron, salt and pepper.

In a large shallow saute pan or sauce pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red  bell pepper and garlic (sofrito) and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add the rice and saute for 1 minute, mixing it with all the veggies.

Toss in the artichoke hearts and pureed tomatoes and mix well. Add the stock and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes.

The rice should be nearly cooked and almost all of the liquid should be absorbed. Sprinkle the top of the rice with the diced tomato and asparagus and cover the pot. Continue to cook until the rice is fully cooked and the asparagus is tender, about another 5 minutes.

To plate: Split the paella between two people and garnish with parsley.

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