Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 20, 2022
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Multi-vegetable paella

Burst into spring with this colourful vegetable main

3 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
½ fennel bulb, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) smoked paprika
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground turmeric
¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) Cayenne pepper
1 c. (250 ml) Calasparra rice (or another short-grain paella rice)
6½ Tbsp. (100 ml) good-quality sherry
1 tsp. (5ml) saffron threads
2 c. (500 ml) boiling vegetable stock
¾ c. (180 ml) shelled fava beans (fresh or frozen)
12 plum tomatoes, halved
5 small grilled artichokes in oil from a jar, drained and quartered
15 pitted kalamata olives, crushed or halved
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) roughly chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges

Heat up the olive oil in a paella pan, or a large shallow skillet, and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and fennel and continue to fry on medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Then add the rice and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes before adding the sherry and saffron. Boil down for a minute, then add the stock and ⅓ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to the minimum and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Do not cover the pan and don’t stir the rice during the cooking.

Meanwhile, pour plenty of boiling water over the fava beans in a bowl and leave for a minute, then drain well and leave to cool down. Now squeeze each bean gently to remove the skin and discard it.

Remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed but without stirring the rice and vegetables much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and fava beans over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Take off the foil. Scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with wedges of lemon. Serves 2 generously.

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