Veggie Paella #glutenfree #caseinfree
I was inspired by Giada’s recipe and wanted to test my hand at this amazing veggie paella. We are always looking for interesting meatless meals to have at least once a week #MeatlessMonday. I’ve made this several times and altered some of the vegetables – not a fan of radishes but love cauliflower seasoned with bright spices. You could probably use any vegetables you like and it’s a great way to get rid of some of the veg in the fridge or freezer! I’ve made the artichokes in the recipe optional because they really change the flavor of the dish so if you aren’t a huge fan of artichokes then don’t bother with them.
And of course, it could be vegan if you use vegetable broth instead of homemade chicken stock. I use Arborio rice because it is naturally gluten-free, as is Basmati rice, but Arborio rice really absorbs the flavors well and stands up to the vegetables. We don’t get the traditional crust on the bottom but it turns out flavorful and delicious!
Serving Size: 3
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 stalk organic celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (or organic yellow heirloom tomatoes)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp Spanish saffron threads
- Pinch of raw cane sugar
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 4 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed (optional)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- Wash, rinse and dry the tomatoes, cauliflower (if fresh), green beans, red bell pepper and parsley before prepping everything.
- Heat the olive oil in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes.
- Turn down the heat to medium and add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes so that the tomatoes break down.
- Add the cauliflower and cook for a few more minutes. Add the white wine and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
- Use a small mortar and pestle to grind down the saffron threads with the pinch of raw sugar. Add the saffron and chicken stock to the pot. Use about 1/4 cup hot water to rinse the mortar and pestle and recover any residual saffron – add it to the pot.
- Increase the heat to medium high to bring it to a simmer. Stir in the Arborio rice and green beans. Let cook untouched for another 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Distribute the red peppers and artichoke hearts (if using) over the top of the rice. If you like your peas cooked down a bit, then add them as well. If you prefer them brighter, then wait to add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Gently press into the rice. Cover and simmer untouched for another 15-20 minutes. Uncover and slightly raise the heat to cook off most of the remaining liquid. I usually poke a hole in the middle to see how much liquid is left.
- Transfer to a serving dish then sprinkle with the smoked paprika and the parsley before serving. Enjoy!