For Pablo, this is the dish of Spain, often cooked in the fields at lunchtime over an open fire. As a vegetarian, Pablo uses tomato juice rather than meat-based stock in his recipe, but it can include anything you want. The secret to good paella is the socarrat (bottom crust) and smoked paprika.
- 3 cups mixed vegetables (red, yellow and green capsicum, zucchini, broccoli)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 mushrooms
- ½ small white cabbage, finely sliced
- 4 bay leaves
- fresh oregano, to taste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 3 cups tomato juice, freshly juiced
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- 6-8 slices lemon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Roughly chop the mixed vegetables. Toss together and set aside. Gently heat the oil in a large pot, wok or paella pan.
Add the onion, celery and garlic to the oil. Fry over medium heat until the onion and garlic soften. Add the mixed vegetables and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the mushrooms, cabbage, bay leaves, oregano and paprika (Pablo likes to use cumin). Season to taste.
Add the rice and stir through well. Add the tomato juice (enough to cover the rice). Stir through and allow the rice to absorb the juice.
Add the stock to the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the rice is cooked through. Add most of the parsley and lemon slices.
Serve with extra lemon slices and garnish with parsley.
To make a seafood paella, add cooked prawns and mussels and stir through.