Paella – Vegetarian Spanish Rice

Paella is a national dish of Spain, which is commonly misunderstood and it’s name often misused. Paella is actually a rather specific dish originating from Valencia and traditionally cooked with meat and vegetables. Now day’s paella is a common name to hundreds of variations, most commonly the seafood version found on the coasts of Spain.

The Rice is a key ingredient and must be a paella rice, or in Spain it’s known as bomba rice. It is small, rounded and absorbs the flavours and stock, but keeps it’s shape, unlike the Italian Risotto rice that breaks down and has a creamy texture.

My humble version is a Spanish rice dish that is quick, easy, healthy and makes a great mid-week lunch or dinner.

Spanish Rice:

Serves: 2

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small courgette, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup of paella rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • coriander, to garnish

In a paella dish or a large frying pan, gently fry the diced onion,pepper, courgette and garlic in a little olive oil until soft.

Add the rice, turmeric, paprika and mix well to coat the grains of rice.

Add the stock and peas and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid or aluminium foil.

Cook for 20 minutes before stirring.

Re-cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, until the stock has absorbed and the rice is tender.

Garnish with a wedge of lemon and a sprig of coriander.


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