Vegetable Paella
(serves 4)
    Soak:
a pinch or three of saffron
    in:
1/2 c white wine, warmed
     
    Heat a 14" paella pan over a medium-high flame, add:
3 T olive oil
    and saute the sofrito:
1   yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
     
    When the onions are translucent, stir in:
1   tomato, halved, grated, skin discarded
    and cook until the water from the tomato has evaporated.  Then add:
1 1/2 c rice, Valencian, Arborio, or other medium-grained variety
    and stir to coat the rice thoroughly.
     
    Add:
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c vegetable or mushroom stock, or water, heated near to boiling
    the white wine & saffron mixture
    Stir the pot (for the last time) and lower the heat to maintain a slow boil.  As the rice cooks, add:
1 1/2 c stock or water, heated
    and arrange into it:
    red bell pepper strips, fresh or roasted
1/4 c fresh peas (or green beans, chopped into 2" pieces)
1/2 c sliced mushrooms, sauteed
tomato or sweet onion wedges
     
    When all the stock and vegetables have been added, cover the paella with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.  Place the paella back on a low burner, uncover it, and decorate it with:
    lemon wedges
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
     
Serve immediately, or let it sit on a low heat long enough to nearly scorch the rice on the bottom of the pan. This caramelized rice is called the socarrat, and is considered a great delicacy.
     
    Buen Provecho!
Notes & Variations:
  1. Be sure to read the notes on making paella.
  2. A sauteed portobello mushroom cap, cut into wedges, would be a lovely addition.
  3. Some cooks add artichoke hearts to paella.  Use canned or frozen ones if you like, or saute freshly-cleaned artichoke hearts in olive oil, then add several tablespoons of stock, cover, and steam them until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Lima beans, white beans, or garbanzo beans may be added.
  5. Any combination of meats, seafood, and vegetables can be delicious.  Check out our Paella Valenciana and Seafood Paella recipes for ideas.