3 C vegetable stock
2 bay leaf
2 generous pinches of saffron (about 30 threads)
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 t dry thyme
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips – reserved
1 green bell pepper, diced
½ dry white wine
2 large tomatoes, diced (1 28 oz can diced tomatoes may be substituted)
1 ½ C medium grain rice
1 C pimento stuffed Spanish olives
1 T Spanish paprika
1 can canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can or frozen artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
½ # haricot vert or green beans, blanched
1 ea. yellow squash, zucchini, cut into ¼ “rounds
1 ½ C frozen peas
Fresh lemon and minced parsley for serving
Simmer vegetable stock with bay leaf and saffron in a saucepan over low heat for 10 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and cook until soft but not brown. Add the diced peppers and cook 2-3 minutes.
Deglaze with wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, until reduced by half. Stir in chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes have softened and have given up most of their juice. Add the rice and sauté briefly.
Add seasoned broth, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, olives and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Rice should be almost cooked through but still have a bite.
Remove the lid and decoratively arrange red pepper strips, squash and green beans on top of the rice. Cover tightly and let cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes to cook vegetables through. Finally, remove the lid and turn the burner to medium high. In a few moments you will start to hear the rice to crackle which develops the socarrat – the delicious, often fought over crispy layer of browned crust of rice that usually forms on the bottom of the pan. Scatter peas and minced parsley over the top and serve with lemon being sure to serve some of the crispy bottom to each guest.
Serves 6-8 but can easily be scaled up or down to suit