2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups paella or risotto rice (or medium- or short-grain white rice)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 15-oz canned navy beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
In a large skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until clear and soft, about 5 minutes. While the onion cooks, measure the vegetable stock and water and crumble the saffron into the liquid to infuse.
To the sauté pan, add the garlic and peppers and stir for a minute, then add the rice and tomato paste and paprika, and stir to mix well. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for about 2 minutes. Add the stock mixture, salt and pepper to the rice mixture and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low after it comes to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, zucchini, artichokes, navy beans and peas and cook for 5 more minutes.
Test the rice. If it is still a little crunchy, cover the pan and take off the heat to steam for 5 minutes or so. Serve hot.
Notes: There are rice varieties specifically for paella: bomba or risotto (carnaroli). If these varieties are not available at your co-op, you can substitute most short- or medium-grained rice.
In Valencia, Spain, paella is often cooked in large pans over an open fire. You can translate the flavors to your own home kitchen by cooking in a large sauté or frying pan. This version is plant-based and allows you to skip the work of prepping meats and seafood, too.