Ingredients for Vegetarian “Paella”:
- 8 oz (225 g) dry rice (risotto type like alborio is best)
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- ½ lb (225 g) tomatoes (skinned and chopped)
- Pinch of saffron soaked in 1 pint (570 ml) hot water
- 4 oz (112 g) cucumber (peeled and diced)
- 3 sticks of celery (chopped)
- 1 red and 1 green smallish peppers (de-seeded and thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- Dash of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 – 4oz (56 g to 112 g) salted nuts
Method for Vegetarian “Paella”:
- Dry fry the rice in the oil in a thick pan over low heat until pale yellow. Add onions, garlic and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes and saffron water. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cucumber and celery and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Stir in the peppers and cook for about another 5 minutes until the rice is just tender and the liquid absorbed. Add more hot water if needed. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the herbs, dash of lemon juice and the nuts. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Turn into a large bowl and serve.
Notes: Garnish the top of the “paella” with a few black olives or some fried mushrooms along with some thin strips of red pepper. Grated cheese, either served separately or sprinkled over the top and browned under the grill works well.