Garden Vegetable Paella

Anyways, moving right along, we have recently been experimenting with making paella, thanks to getting a paella pan as a Christmas gift from Meghan’s parents.

Behold our first attempt from a few months ago:

We refined our strategy a bit before our next attempt, which is as follows:

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ~1/4 pound green beans
  • 14-oz can of artichoke hearts, drained
  • ~1/4 pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 small/medium tomatoes, coarsley grated
  • Salt
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (water is a fine substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet pimenton
  • 2 pinches safron threads, lightly toasted and ground
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 1/2 cups short- or medium- grain rice

Method

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the paella pan over medium heat.
  2. Add bell pepper and eggplant and cook until they begin to brown, ~5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, then add the green beans, artichoke hearts, and asparagus, and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low, add garlic, tomatoes, and 2 pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has darkened to a deeper shade of red, ~10-15 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are tender, ~10 minutes.
  6. Return the bell pepper and eggplant to the pan. Sprinkle in the pimenton and saffron while stirring.
  7. Add the remaining 3 cups of stock and the peas. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Sprinkle in the rice. With a wooden spoon, probe the pan to make sure rice is evenly distributed. Do not stir again.
  9. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 8 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked but with a slight bite.
  10. Remove the paella pan from the heat, cover with paper towels, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Now, friends, the reason that cooking paella reminded us of the blog we forgot about for a cool 3.5 years is because it involved a lot of techniques we’d never done before. What essentially went through Meghan’s mind was, “Wow, I have so many thoughts on this, I wish I had some way to write out all my feelings other than an instagram post, maybe I should write a blog or somethi- OMG.” So congrats to paella for reminding us that we had a food blog. Anyways, we learned:

  • You can grate tomatoes. Use a normal cheese grater and grate it over the bowl. It’s shockingly easy; the skin will just come off in your hand.
If it looks this gross, you did it right.
  • Pimenton is basically sweet paprika. Feel like we should have know that, but we surely did not.
  • If the rice doesn’t seem done, you can add small bits of WARM water and keep cooking until the texture is better.
  • This recipe is very customizable based on your preferences.
  • You’re supposed to lightly toast saffron in a skillet and then crumble it, for flavor and dramatics.
  • In fact, we CAN both be working in our small galley kitchen at the same time without one or both of us getting ourselves kicked out (at least this time)!

Alright, enough suspense already. HERE ARE OUR STUNNING RESULTS: