Vegetarian Paella with Red Peppers and Chickpeas

Vegetarian Paella with Red Peppers and Chickpeas

  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice (See Recipe Note)
  • Hefty pinch saffron (about 8 strands)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 artichoke hearts, sliced (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Bring 3 cups of water and a hefty pinch of salt to a boil, add the rice, and cook for about about 20 minutes, or until the rice begins to soften. Drain and set aside. (Par-boiling the brown rice speeds up the overall cooking time.)

Combine saffron threads and 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl and set aside. Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer until needed.


Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, and sauté the onions until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic slices and peppers. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, hot paprika, saffron threads (along with the water), and season generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes.

Make sure to have your vegetable broth simmering nearby. Fold in the green beans, artichoke slices, and chickpeas. Then stir in the par-boiled, drained rice. Ladle the simmering broth over the rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. A few minutes before the rice is fully cooked, scatter the peas over top. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

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