Vegetable Paella

By Gemalli Austin, DrPH, RD



1. In a small bowl, combine the saffron with the lemon juice to bloom the saffron. Set aside.

2. If using a dutch oven: Arrange your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, making sure that you have ample space between the two racks for your Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Heat Dutch oven or skillet on the stove, cook diced mushroom, until mushrooms are soft, add chopped garlic until garlic is soft. Add the onions and cook until the onions are tender and translucent, add 1/4 cup of diced peppers, cook each vegetable. about 3-5 minutes until soft.

4. Add smoked and sweet paprika cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken Season.

5. Add the rice, cook for 3-5 minutes to lightly toast the rice, and incorporate flavors. Move around occasionally to prevent sticking. 6. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until the mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly about 2 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, peas, water, saffron (if using), and salt.

7. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot and transfer it to the lower rack in the oven. Bake, undisturbed, until the liquid, is absorbed and the rice is tender for 50 to 55 minutes.

8. On a baking sheet, combine the artichoke, peppers, chopped olives, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, and about 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (sub 1 teaspoon dried). Toss to combine, then spread the contents evenly across the pan.

9. Roast the vegetables on the upper rack until the artichokes and peppers are tender and browned around the edges, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes. Add 1⁄4 cup parsley to the pan and the lemon juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

10. Sprinkle the roasted vegetables over the baked rice, cover, and let the paella sit for 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley (about 1 tablespoon) and serve in individual bowls, with lemon wedges on the side.