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  • Recipe Room  »  Paella verduras



    • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
    • 1 litre vegetable stock
    • 240g shelled broad beans
    • 100g fine green beans, topped and tailed and halved
    • 100g fine asparagus, cut into 5cm lengths
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 200g small courgettes, cut into thick slices
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces
    • 1 large green pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon sweet pimentón
    • 200g tomatoes, fresh or from a can, skinned and chopped
    • 400g short grain paella rice, such as Calasparra or Bomba
    • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
    • 100g shelled peas
    • 280g jar chargrilled artichokes in olive oil, drained
    • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Paella verduras

    This recipe showcases summer vegetables like courgettes and fresh peas. Sweet pimentón (ground red pepper) and saffron are essential to any authentic paella.

    The latter is made from the stamens of crocuses there are only three per plant, which explains why it’s so expensive. Fortunately, you only need to use a tiny quantity!


    Shake the saffron strands around in a slightly hot frying pan for a few seconds until dry but not coloured, then tip into a small mortar or coffee cup and grind to a powder with the pestle or a wooden spoon. Add a splash of the stock and set aside.

    Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the broad beans, bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon into a colander, leave to drain, then tip into a bowl.

    Bring the pan of water back to the boil, add the green beans and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with the slotted spoon to the colander and refresh under cold water. Tip into a plate.

    Bring the water back to the boil once more, add the asparagus, bring back to the boil, drain and refresh under cold water. Pop the broad beans out of their skins and add to the plate of green beans with the asparagus.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan or shallow flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the courgettes and fry them for 2–3 minutes until a light golden brown. Lift out onto a plate.

    Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the red and green pepper and continue frying until the onion is soft and lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and pimentón and fry for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and fry for 2–3 minutes until softened, then stir in the rest of the stock, the saffron mixture and some seasoning to taste and bring to the boil.

    Sprinkle in the rice and the parsley, stir lightly to evenly distribute the rice around the pan, then scatter over the cooked beans, asparagus, courgettes, peas and artichokes and shake the pan gently so that they all bed down slightly into the rice.

    Lower the heat and leave to simmer vigorously for 6 minutes, then lower the heat again and leave to simmer gently for a further 14 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, but still with a little bit of a bite to it. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a large lid or cleantea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney, edited by Annie Rigg, published by Kyle Books, RRP $35 click to buy.

    Tips and Tricks

    • Keep parsley in a glass of water and wrapped in a plastic bag in your fridge. Parsley should last a week or so stored in this way. Remember to change the water regularly to prevent mould and decay.

    • You know asparagus is going bad when the tips begin to turn dark green – It is still safe to eat at this point if you cut off the tips and cook immediately.

    • Store tomatoes at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Shift them to the fridge when they’re at risk of becoming over-ripe to slow the ripening process.

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