Paella is a quintessential Spanish dish made of seasoned rice that’s cooked in a skillet until its forms a delectable crispy, golden crust on the bottom and edges. There’s a million different variations of paella ranging from seafood to chicken to vegetable. For my version of paella, I added tons of peppers (hence the name), tomatoes, peas, and more to create a delicious vegetarian recipe. It’s not exactly authentic but it’s simple to prepare and tastes amazing, so what else do you need?
Three Pepper Paella
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1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons jalapeno pepper, minced (use less for a milder dish)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt & Pepper
8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup bomba rice *
2.5 cups vegetable broth (check for gluten)
1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 cup cannellini beans
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Fresh Parsley, to garnish
1. Add olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed oven-safe skillet and heat to low. Add garlic, fennel seeds, and jalapeno; sauté for 1-2 minutes.
2. Raise heat to medium then add tomatoes, red pepper, green pepper, and zucchini to skillet. Season vegetables with paprika, thyme, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper. Saute vegetables for 7-10 minutes, or until peppers are tender, and tomatoes begin to shrivel.
3. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté for 2-3 minute more.
4. Stir in rice, sauté for 2-3 minutes to toast rice slightly.
5. Pour in broth and bring rice mixture to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and simmer for 28-32 minutes or until rice is tender, and liquid is absorbed.
6. Preheat broiler to high (about 450 degrees). Stir peas and cannellini beans into rice , then use a spatula to press rice into a flat layer on the bottom of the skillet.
7. Transfer skillet to broiler and broil 4-5 minutes. Carefully (don’t forget that handle of skillet it hot!) remove skillet from oven, stir, then press rice into the bottom of the skillet again. Broil 3-5 minutes more, or until toasted on the bottom and beginning to crispy along the edges.
8. Stir lemon juice into paella, and garnish with parsley. Taste for seasoning, then divide between two plates and enjoy!
Nutrition Information--approximately 345 calories per serving (1/2 of the recipe)
*Bomba rice is the type of rice traditionally used in paellas and it provides a wonderfully unique texture to the dish. If you’d rather not purchase bomba rice, you can try substituting with another variety of rice but be sure to adjust the cooking time of the rice.