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Oryana Natural Foods Market

Vegetarian Paella

September 16, 2011, 10:09 am

Adapted from New York Times
Serves 6

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch-long strips
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
1 teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved in small amount of hot water
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add pepper strips to onion mixture and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid), broth, rice, saffron mixture, thyme and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, peas, half the parsley and salt. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste and add a little water to moisten if needed. Cook, stirring, just until heated through.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is harvested from the fall-flowering plant Crocus sativus,  a member of the Iris family. It's grown mainly in the Mediterannean. It has a unique pungent, bitter taste and golden-yellow color. While fairly expensive, a small amount goes a long way.