Pan: A 12” paella pan, or big skillet (I prefer a good quality non-stick pan like Scanpan, or ceramic coated skillet, or 6 qt dutch oven. Must have a lid.
Serve with your favorite hot sauce, like Sriracha. I like to top with a bit of tofu sour cream, not traditional, but yummy. (nansimonsen.com, recipes, sauces/dressings)
- Heat the empty pan over medium-high heat and add the onion allowing it to caramelize, but not burn, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add a couple of tablespoons of broth or water if necessary, and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes (don’t let it get brown). Add fresh tomatoes with juice (or drained canned tomatoes), the saffron with water, and all herbs and spices except the fresh parsley. Mix and cook a few minutes as the juices bubble and spices become aromatic. Stir in the red bell pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Add rice and stir to coat.
- Stir in 3 1/4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium or medium-low in order to continuously cook at a very gentle boil. Cover the pan and cook for 30-35 minutes. Watch to be sure that the mixture does not dry out or burn.
- Uncover and scatter across the top of the rice mixture the beans, asparagus or green beans, and artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives (if using), and 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup broth slowly over the pan, to distribute evenly. Shake the pan to disperse the broth. Don’t stir. Cover and cook 10-12 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender
- Uncover and taste the rice for doneness. If necessary, add more broth or water and cook a bit longer. If rice is finished, scatter the frozen peas over the top, cover, and remove from the stovetop and let the dish set for 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
- Set the finished dish on the table as a beautiful center piece and serve with a large spoon, along with a crispy green salad and perhaps your favorite hot sauce and sliced green onions. Enjoy!
Traditional Spanish paella has a crispy bottom called socarrat. You can attempt to bring this about by heating the dish over medium high heat just before serving for approximately 5-8 minutes, listening for a sizzle, but being careful not to burn it. Be aware that this can burn your pot ceramic pot.