Saffron is traditional in this voluptuous Spanish stew, but if you don’t have any you can leave it out and you’ll still have a delicious dish. If you’re not a fan of eggplant, substitute diced mushrooms. For a heartier dish, add 8 ounces of diced seitan, vegan sausage, or steamed tempeh.
Ingredients for Vegetable Paella:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup uncooked short-grain white rice
- 1½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 pinch of saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15.5-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
- 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- ½ cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely minced lemon zest
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic, eggplant, and bell pepper and cook 3 minutes longer.
- Stir in the rice, 1 cup of the broth, and the saffron, paprika, bay leaf, oregano, red pepper flakes, and diced tomatoes and their juice.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the chickpeas, artichoke hearts, peas, and olives.
- If the mixture seems dry, add the remaining ½ cup of broth.
- Stir in the parsley and lemon zest and cook until the rice and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes longer.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Serve hot.
Note: You can use brown rice instead of white if you prefer, but it will take longer to cook, so allow more time.
Gluten-free | Soy-free | Low Oil