Mimi's Bistro's vegetarian paella recipe

- This recipe for vegetarian paella comes courtesy of Chef Bryan Kessler from Mimi's Bistro in Grosse Pointe Park. For more information, you can visit www.mimisonjefferson.com.

The vegetables in this recipe can be changed depending upon the season or a person's preferences towards or against certain vegetables.  The bell peppers, onions, carrots and tomatoes are the most important components to the dish with the remaining vegetables being garnish. 

If Spanish Bomba rice cannot be found in your local supermarket than Basmati may be used as a substitute.  Real Saffron can be expensive but makes a world of difference  It stores like other spices and is fragrant when cooked and has a distinct flavor.

Ingredients
1 cup Spanish Onion finley Chopped
½ cup Red Pepper Seeded and Cut into Strips
½ cup Yellow Pepper Seeded and Cut into Strips
1 Fennel Bulb (aprox 1 cup) Cut into Strips
4 Cloves (2 Tbsp) Garlic Chopped Fine
4 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Ground Tumeric
¼ tsp Cayanne Pepper
2 tsp Saffron Threads
1 Cup Dry Sherry
2 Cups Calasparra Bomba Rice (May Also Be Called Valencia)
12 Plum or Roma Tomatoes cut in Wedges
2 Cups Artichoke Hearts from a can Cut in ¼ wedges
25 Kalamata Olives Halved
2 cups Garbanzo Beans (If From a Can Rinse Well)
¼ cup Chopped Parsley
8 Lemon Wedges for Garnish
1 qt Vegetable Stock (Use Stock Not Broth)

Method of Preparation
Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a 10" flat-sided pan.  Turn pan down to medium heat.  Sauté onions until almost translucent, add peppers and fennel.  Add bay leaves, smoked paprika, turmeric and cayenne to pan and turn down to low heat.  Add rice and cook for 2 minutes until the rice has a slightly wet, clear look to it, than add the saffron, stock, sherry and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.  Do not stir the rice during this cooking period or it will release starch and become gummy.  Remove from heat after 20 minutes or once most the stock has been absorbed.  Sprinkle garbanzo, artichokes, tomatoes and olives around the pan evenly and tightly cover with foil.  Rest for 10 minutes, uncover and sprinkle parsley on the paella. Serve with lemon wedges for garnish.


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