I’d really like to be in Spain now, sitting at a beachside restaurant and eating paella filled with chorizo, langoustine, chicken and clams. Who knows when we’ll be able to go off on our foreign holidays again?
In the meantime here’s a dead easy vegan version of paella from Miguel Barclay’s Vegan One pound Meals cookery book (yes, I’m working my way through his recipes).
This features artichokes (from a jar) as the star of the dish but you can pack the paella with all sorts of extras – sweetcorn, peppers from a jar instead of fresh (I love their roasted flavour), black olives, vegetarian sausage, green beans and tomatoes. This recipe uses frozen peas but tinned peas are particularly delicious I think (especially petits pois).
Two things that make the paella authentic though are saffron and paella rice and I’ve used them both in this recipe but use turmeric if you want a nice yellow colour. Turmeric is also a cheaper alternative to saffron, which weight for weight is supposed to be more expensive than gold (not very cheap in a blog called Cheap, Fresh and Easy). If you re using saffron, soak a few threads in about a teaspoon of warm water for about 30 minutes before using.
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 handfuls of paella rice
- A few threads of saffron or half teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- About 800ml boiling water
- Frozen peas – about 2 tablespoons
- Several artichoke hearts from a jar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Squeeze of lemon juice.
- Pan fry the onion in a splash of oil for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
- Add the red pepper, rice and saffron (or turmeric), salt and pepper. Stir for a couple of minutes to coat the rice.
- Add about 100ml of the hot water and crumble in the stock cube. Stir continuously to stop the rice sticking, gradually adding the rest of the water. This should take about 15 minutes.
- When the rice is cooked stir in the frozen peas and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the artichoke pieces.
- Remove from the heat, check for seasoning and squeeze in a bit of lemon juice.
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