Adapted from The New York Times, recipe by Martha Rose Shulman
You don’t have to make this vegetable-rich dish in a paella pan, though if you do, you’ll get a nice layer of crusty rice on the bottom.
Serves 6 to 8
1 quart chicken stock, vegetable stock or garlic broth
Saffron thread, generous pinch (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
2 cups medium-grain rice
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped OR 1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice
1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut in 1″ lengths
2 or 3 baby artichokes, trimmed and sliced (may also use frozen artichoke hearts, sliced)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen lima beans
1 cup frozen peas, shelled fresh or thawed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Crush the saffron threads between your fingertips, and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of warm water and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy frying pan, an earthenware casserole (cazuela) set over a flame tamer or a paella pan. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the peppers begin to soften, about three minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and rice. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute until the grains begin to crackle. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until they cook down slightly and smell fragrant, about five minutes. Stir in the saffron with its soaking water, scraping in every last bit with a rubber spatula. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Add the stock, green beans, artichokes and chickpeas or lima beans. Bring to a boil. Stir once, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer without stirring until the liquid has just about evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the peas. Continue to simmer until the rice is dry, another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
Advance preparation: This does not have to be piping hot, so it can be made an hour before you wish to serve. If you make it further ahead than that, you can reheat it in the pan.