Paella verdura

A vegetarian twist on this Spanish classic rice dish with the help of a rice cooker!

Vegan paella with rice and some vegetables.

Paella full of vegetables can be made quickly with the help of a rice cooker. A brief use of a pan after baking is the key to achieving a crispy rice crust on the bottom, often referred to as socarrat (meaning “burnt” in Catalan).

AuthorpanCategoryDifficultyIntermediate

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 medium courgette, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
 225 g sliced mushrooms
 salt
 ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 saffron threads (optional)
 400 g (1 tin) chopped tomatoes
 2 rice measuring cups short-grain uncooked paella rice (such as Bomba rice)
 140 g fresh or frozen peas
 140 g piquillo peppers, sliced (or roasted red peppers)
 140 g baby spinach
 800 ml vegetable stock
 handful fresh parsley, chopped for serving
 4 lemon wedges, for serving

1

In a deep pan heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add courgette and mushrooms and season with salt. Cook, until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Toss and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to a small bowl.

2

To same pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and return to medium heat. Add onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, smoked paprika, and saffron and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

3

Add tomatoes, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and the rice then stir to combine. Stir in courgette mixture, peas, piquillo peppers, and spinach, stirring to wilt spinach. Put this mixture into your rice cooker bowl, add stock so it comes to the level 2 ’SHORT GRAIN’ level line. Select the ’SHORT GRAIN’ function and press ’START’ (alternatively you can leave in the pan for 30 to 40 minutes or bake in a preheated oven set to 220°C).

4

Once the rice has finished cooking, if you want the crisp bottom, transfer to a pan and cook on the stovetop over medium heat to make sure the bottom of the rice is crisp - 2 to 3 minutes.

5

Let it rest for 5 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Ingredients

 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 medium courgette, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
 225 g sliced mushrooms
 salt
 ½ small yellow onion, finely chopped
 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 saffron threads (optional)
 400 g (1 tin) chopped tomatoes
 2 rice measuring cups short-grain uncooked paella rice (such as Bomba rice)
 140 g fresh or frozen peas
 140 g piquillo peppers, sliced (or roasted red peppers)
 140 g baby spinach
 800 ml vegetable stock
 handful fresh parsley, chopped for serving
 4 lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

1

In a deep pan heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add courgette and mushrooms and season with salt. Cook, until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Toss and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and tender, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to a small bowl.

2

To same pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and return to medium heat. Add onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, smoked paprika, and saffron and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

3

Add tomatoes, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and the rice then stir to combine. Stir in courgette mixture, peas, piquillo peppers, and spinach, stirring to wilt spinach. Put this mixture into your rice cooker bowl, add stock so it comes to the level 2 ’SHORT GRAIN’ level line. Select the ’SHORT GRAIN’ function and press ’START’ (alternatively you can leave in the pan for 30 to 40 minutes or bake in a preheated oven set to 220°C).

4

Once the rice has finished cooking, if you want the crisp bottom, transfer to a pan and cook on the stovetop over medium heat to make sure the bottom of the rice is crisp - 2 to 3 minutes.

5

Let it rest for 5 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Paella Verdura

HANDY TIPS – For more crunch you can add some long thin green beans or tinned sweetcorn. Don’t stir the paella when it’s cooking in the oven or the pan. The idea is to preserve the status of the broth and rice to give a good soccarat (golden crust).