Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Multi Vegetable Paella

I realised when I got back from Paris that I hadn't had any veg at all whilst I was there. Plenty of salad but no veg. They don't really do veg and it's hard to get in restaurants anywhere unless you pay extra for a side dish. So when I got home I really went for the veg. I made Ottolenghi's multi veg paella which was so so good. Packed full of veg from peppers and fennel to artichokes and olives and it was just scrummy. I have had so much luck with this cookbook, all of the recipes I've made so far have worked out perfectly.

Multi Vegetable Paella (from Plenty - Ottolenghi)
(Serves 2-3)

3 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips 

1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 small fennel bulb, cut into strips 
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
150g paella rice 
100ml sherry
1 tsp saffron strands
450ml boiling vegetable stock
12 mini plum tomatoes 
5 small grilled jarred artichokes, quartered 
200g podded broad beans, blanched and skinned
15 pitted black olives
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges, to serve

Heat up the olive oil in a paella pan, or a large shallow frying pan, and gently fry the onion for 5 mins. Add the peppers and fennel and continue to fry on a medium heat for about 6 mins, or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further min.

Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Then add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 mins before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil down for a min, then add the stock and teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to the minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 mins, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan and don't stir the rice during the cooking. 

Meanwhile, pour plenty of boiling water over the broad beans in a bowl and leave for a minute, then drain well and leave to cool down. Now squeeze each bean gently to remove the skin and discard it.

Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed but without stirring the rice and vegetables much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and broad beans over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 mins. Take off the foil. Scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with wedges of lemon.

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