Veggie Paella Outer Sunset Style (by Mr. Green)
• EVOO, aprox. ¼ cup - enough to cover bottom of pan
• 6-8 SMALL potatoes, sliced to 1/8"
• 1/4 cup raw almonds, split length-wise
• 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
• 1 - 1.5 cups coarse chopped mixed peppers (green and colored Bell - Anahiem - Lipstick - etc.)
• 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut to approx. 1"
• 1/2 cup fresh shelled peas
• 3/4 cup yellow zucchini, coarsely julienned
• 1/4 cup pimiento slices or roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
• 2 medium firm tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 cut green onions, loosely chopped
• 14 oz jar of artichoke hearts (in water)
• generous pinch of saffron threads (see photo)
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• juice of one large lemon
• 4 tablespoons tomato paste
• Cooked grain to yield around 5 cups - short brown rice, farro, etc.
• approx 3 cups water
Prepare the grain ahead of time being careful to NOT fully cook the grain. It should be chewy as it will finish cooking with other ingredients.
In small bowl add saffron threads to 1/2 cup cold water and set aside.
In large flat bottom skillet heat the olive oil - medium-high setting.
Evenly spread out potatoes, and pepper flakes. Brown potatoes on one side.
As you turn potatoes, add almond pieces, garlic, onions, peppers and green beans. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add peas, zucchini and pimentos. Sauté an additional 2 minutes.
Add saffron mixture, lemon juice, spices, tomato paste and an additional 2 1/2 cups water.
Bring to boil and make sure spices and tomato paste are well mixed.
Add grain, reduce heat and allow to simmer.
Once moisture is taken up by the grain and it is about fully cooked add green onions, tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
Cover and simmer until green onions are wilted - it's time to serve!
This is not a traditional paella in any way. Usually the grain is cooked in the pan with the vegetables. This muddles the individual flavors of the different ingredients and makes everything a bit mushy. Cooking the grains first allows the vegetables to maintain their crispness and character. You can add anything you might want . . . asparagus tips or any other vegetables. You can also add other spices. One nice addition, at the end, is a little smoked paprika. No salt mesquite seasoning is good also.