A flavourful, plant-based paella with easy 'flex it' options to add meat or dairy, from the most helpful cookbook for mixed-diet households, DK's There's a Vegan in the House.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
- large pinch of saffron strands
- 750ml hot vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 250g paella rice
- 150ml dry white wine
- 115g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 115g roasted, unsalted cashew nuts
- salt and freshly ground
- black pepper
- 115g fresh shelled or frozen peas
- 11⁄2 tbsp chopped thyme
- 4 tomatoes, quartered
- 1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika
- sprig of flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
- lemon wedges, to garnish
1. Put the saffron strands in the stock to infuse. Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or large frying pan and fry the leek, onion, garlic, red pepper, and carrot, stirring, for 3 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the rice and stir until coated in oil and glistening.
2. Add the wine and boil until it has been absorbed, stirring. Stir in the saffron-infused stock, mushrooms, nuts, and some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring once, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently for 10 minutes.
3. Add the peas and thyme, stir gently, then distribute the tomatoes over the top. Cover and simmer very gently for a further 10 minutes until the rice is just tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, but is still creamy.
4. Sprinkle the paprika over and stir through gently, taking care not to break up the tomatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
5. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and lemon wedges and serve hot with crusty bread and a green salad.
Flex it: For an easy non-vegan alternative, add 200g cooked, peeled prawns in step 3 or grate manchego cheese over the top to serve.
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