Paella is a dish that has its origins in Spain. In Spain's coastal regions, paella is a seafood extravaganza and features shrimp, squid, and mussels. When you go inland you will find a similar dish prepared with chicken, rabbit or duck. Both preparations include common ingredients of rice, saffron and olive oil and both are cooked in a large pan, on an open fire, and then sometimes finished in the oven. Cooking over an open fire or high heat is important because it creates a crisp, toasted rice bottom which can be scraped off the bottom of the pan and served.
Paella eventually made its way to the US and is a popular dish that is served in many restaurants that specialize in Spanish and Portuguese food. The first time I had paella was on a beach in Miami. It was cooked over a fire pit and full of amazing coastal seafood; it's a terrific food memory. Paella is served communal style where everyone dishes up from the big, beautiful pan.
This recipe has all the wonderful flavors of paella without the meat and makes a terrific, hearty vegetarian meal. Butternut squash, leeks and artichokes are the stars in this dish!
Our Paella Seasoning blended from granulated garlic, salt, dried oregano, smoked sweet paprika, freshly ground black peppercorns and the most important ingredient--pure Mancha Superior crushed saffron threads.
- 1 pound butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large leek, green and white parts only, sliced
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Paella Seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 jar artichoke hearts
- 1/2 pound Swiss chard
- Place leek and squash on a baking sheet and brush with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove and reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- In a large, flat, oven-proof pan, heat the remaining 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onion until softened.
- Stir in Paella Seasoning and garlic.
- Add rice and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Add stock, wine, leek-squash mixture, peas, bell pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and Swiss chard.
- Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place paella pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and stock is absorbed.