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Vegan Paella Recipe with Caramelized Tomatoes & Fava Beans

Paella is a rice dish native to Spain. There are many different variations of Paella one can make, many including either meat or seafood or a mix of the two. Different regions in Spain will use different ingredients based on what is available to them.

Paella is a great dish to make for a group of people. My father loves making seafood Paella. This vegetarian recipe is one my father made recently when I went home for dinner, and so I thought of recording the process and sharing it with you. There isn’t only one way to make Paella. I have read several different recipes and none of them are exactly the same.

This particular version is inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe in his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. A great book to add to your collection if you don’t already have it. Similar to his How to Cook Everything book, but all vegetarian. A modern day Joy of Cooking of sorts. All essential books in a good cook’s library.

I have watched and helped my dad make Paella several times at home, but have never actually made it on my own. I think it is time I give it a try. I do not own a Paella pan yet, which is a wide shallow pan traditionally used to make the dish. They vary in sizes, the smallest ones still being quite large. I have seen images in books of Paella being made on the beach in Spain, over a burning fire, in the biggest pan I have ever seen in my life.

I would love to buy myself a paella pan ,but I think my roomate would kill me. I have already taken over the kitchen since moving in, with all my kitchen equipment and jars of beans and grains. I’m not sure she would love me bringing a new 20in+ size pan into the kitchen. To be honest I am not sure where I would keep it. Maybe I could find room somewhere. Move things around a little. For now, I guess my 12in all clad skillet will have to do.

The fava beans used here were from my father’s home garden. Lucky us. If you can’t find any fava beans you can always make it with another type of bean like chickpeas. Feel free to add other vegetables to the mix as well. I can imagine that roasted peppers would be a delicious addition to the party.

A note about the saffron. Yes, it is expensive but get the real stuff. There is nothing quite like it. Spanish saffron is the good stuff, not the American saffron that is much cheaper and easier to find. Spend the few extra dollars and enjoy.

Have you tried to make Paella before? If so I would love to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below.

Vegan Paella Recipe with Caramelized Tomato & Fava Bean

2 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

For the Soffrito

A few strands of spanish saffron
1 onion, grated
2 roma tomatoes, grated
8 cloves garlic, 4 grated and 4 thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

5-6 roma tomatoes (1 lb), cut into quarters and seeds removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups fresh or frozen lava beans
A handful of chopped parsley
Fill a medium size saucepan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While your rice is cooking, heat paella pan, to medium heat, add the oil and the onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the saffron, grated tomatoes, grated garlic, sliced garlic, salt and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

Mix the tomato quarters in a bowl with the tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450F.

Add the rice and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Spread the rice out evenly across the bottom of the pan. Lay the tomatoes and fava beans over the rice, spreading them out evenly. Pour in the hot broth. Do not stir at this point.

Cover and place the paella dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve in the centre of the table and see how impressed your guests are when presented with this beautiful dish.

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