Vegetable Paella with Chickpeas


-1 cup short-grain brown rice*
-Hefty pinch saffron (about 8 strands)
-6 cups vegetable broth
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 large yellow onion, diced
-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
-1 red bell pepper, sliced
-1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
-3/4 cup crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-1/2 tablespoon hot paprika
-1 cup green beans, trimmed and halved
-3 artichoke hearts, sliced (fresh, frozen, or canned)
-1 cup cooked chickpeas
-1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
-1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
-Salt and pepper

Cooking method:

Bring 3 cups of water and a hefty pinch of salt to a boil, add the rice, and cook for about about 20 minutes, or until the rice begins to soften. Drain and set aside. (Par-boiling the brown rice speeds up the overall cooking time.)

Combine saffron threads and 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl and set aside. Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer until needed.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, and sauté the onions until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic slices and peppers. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, hot paprika, saffron threads (along with the water), and season generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes.

Make sure to have your vegetable broth simmering nearby. Fold in the green beans, artichoke slices, and chickpeas. Then stir in the par-boiled, drained rice. Ladle the simmering broth over the rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. A few minutes before the rice is fully cooked, scatter the peas over top. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

*Paella with Traditional White Rice: If you’d prefer, use a traditional short-grain white rice for this dish, like Bomba or Valencia. If using white rice, there’s no need to par-boil and you only need 3 cups of broth.


Bon Appetit!

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