Recipe: A Versatile Paella

With or without meat, it's springing with flavor


> Spring Vegetable Paella

(6-8 entrees)

1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, deseeded
and julienned
2 cups short-grain rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (if you
can’t find it, use sweet paprika)
1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and
grated on the large holes
of a box grater
Kosher salt
1/4 pound fresh green beans,
trimmed and cut in 1-inch lengths, lightly blanched
1-1/2 cups cubed (1/2-inch)
cooked acorn, butternut,
or other winter squash
1 can quartered artichoke hearts,
drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
thawed or fresh, or frozen
English peas
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs


Heat vegetable stock in a saucepan over medium heat and crush saffron threads into warmed stock. Let simmer while continuing with recipe.

Heat large sauté pan or paella dish over medium heat, add olive oil, and heat until hot. Add chopped onions and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red bell pepper and continue to sauté until bell pepper is very soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat with onion mixture and until rice begins to crackle.

Slowly add warmed stock, stirring as you do. Add tomato paste, paprika, and grated tomatoes. Throw in a good pinch, about 1/2 teaspoon, kosher salt; stir to combine and continue cooking until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice (15-20 minutes). Add beans, squash, artichoke hearts, and edamame. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Let sit approximately 10 minutes. Adjust the spices according to your taste buds.

Sprinkle entire dish with chopped fresh herbs of your choosing and serve. May also be served at room temperature.

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