Vegetarian Paella with Spring Vegetables


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive or camelina oil
1 medium-sized red onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups Spanish bomba rice
1/3 cup organic sweet white wine
5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, boiling hot, plus extra, if needed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed with mortar and pestle
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 small bunch fresh asparagus spears, cut into 1-1/2 in pieces
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into slivers
14 oz can cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 small bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
salt and fresh pepper, to taste


  1. In large paella pan or deep-sided large frying pan, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, and fennel and saute just until soft and clear. Do not brown.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring often until mixture thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice until grains are coated.
  4. Add wine and deglaze pan. Stir in boiling stock and seasonings. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed into rice, leaving rice al dente. Gently shake pan over top of burner occasionally to allow even cooking and to prevent rice from sticking. If rice is cooking dry and still not tender to the bite, add a little more boiling stock.
  5. Gently fold in asparagus, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes. Scatter beans over top.
  6. Turn heat to very low, cover tightly, and let rest for 10 minutes to slightly warm vegetable toppings and for rice to create a bit of a crust on the bottom.
  7. Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Add salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Alive magazine