Vegetarian Paella

Vegetable Paella

This vegetarian version of the Spanish classic is perfect for keeping in shape.


2 large fresh fennel bulbs , trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges; 2 tablespoons chopped fronds reserved
4 bunches baby carrots, trimmed, peeled
1 1/2 cups turnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2-inch red-skinned new potatoes, halved
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 onion, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped, seeds and juices reserved
2 1/4 cups arborio rice or medium-grain rice
1 can vegetable broth
2 cups water
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)


Preheat oven to 450°F/230C. Toss fennel bulbs, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and 1/4 cup oil in large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and brown around edges, about 1 hour.

Finely mince 1/4 cup parsley and garlic together. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in paprika, saffron and 1 teaspoon salt.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice and parsley mixture; stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus, garbanzo beans, and roasted vegetables. Increase heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season paella with salt and pepper. Transfer to large platter. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and remaining parsley.

Makes 6 servings.


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