Vegetable Paella

Food 2012 062

So 2013, this is happening!

Resolutions are in full force – are you sticking to yours so far?

I took a look back some of my cooking goals for 2012 to see what I actually accomplished.

Making my own yogurt didn’t happen, and I definitely need to learn more of my Dad’s seafood secrets. But I did make frozen things and, wouldn’t you know it, I’ve made a paella that I’m happy to share with you today.

Please please please tell me you’re not on a juice cleanse. Then you wouldn’t be able to eat paella with me.

The thought of a juice cleanse brings back memories of my job as an advertising assistant for the most serious of all fashion magazines. Picture irritable, high-powered women in an underfed, over-caffeinated state. Juice and stress and terror go hand in hand in hand in my brain. Just say no.

This year, let’s resolve to only eat things that are delicious. Let’s resolve to treat our bodies with absolute respect: consume healthy things, consume indulgent things, buy the fancy butter and the best fruit you can find. Be kind to yourself in every way possible.

Let’s cook ourselves things that remind us of far away places and happy memories. Paella to me means our favorite restaurant in nyc, epic summer BBQs on Long Island and a trip to Valencia.

Let’s make more awesome memories and paella this year.

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Vegetable Paella

adapted from Miguel Maestre’s recipe

Sofrito

  • Cilantro stems and leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 small roasted red pepper from a jar
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smokey paprika

Vegetables

  • olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants or ½ medium to large eggplant, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ large red pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ large green pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small summer squash sliced thin (I used a patty pan)
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed

Rice

  • olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup aribo rice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • pinch of saffron

Combine sofrito ingredients in a food processor and puree until almost smooth with no big chunks.

Heat olive oil in your paella pan over a medium high heat. Add eggplant and a pinch of salt and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the red and green peppers. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add in summer squash and a tablespoon or two of the sofrito, cook for another 3 minutes until the vegetables are softened and cooked trough. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.

In the paella pan, heat a glug of olive oil over a medium high heat, add rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the rice in the olive oil.

Stir in 1/2 cup of the sofrito and cook for another minute. Add vegetable stock and sprinkle with saffron. Move the rice around only slightly, so as to distribute it in an even layer across the pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook, for 20 minutes, uncovered. Sprinkle thawed peas on top and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Place cooked vegetables on top of the cooked rice, turn off the heat and cover with a tea towed and let stand for 5 minutes.

Notes: If you hear a popping sound toward the end of cooking – this is a good thing! It means you’re creating a socarrat - the crunchy crust of rice on the bottom of the pan – and the best part of paella!

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6 Comments to “Vegetable Paella”

  1. I am going to need you to fly to NYC and cook this for me. Thank you.

  2. Leah that was a great post! Your quest for healthy living and encouraging others to do so makes me so proud! You are amazing! Luv Mum

  3. Im definitely not on a juice cleanse!! And I definitely want to make your paella. It looks so yummy.

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