Confession: I feel pretty lucky to have such rich culture, especially when it comes to cuisine — Latin food is amazing. From black beans and rice to tostones, many of the staples I grew up with are now enjoyed all over the world by all. I often get asked how to make some Latin staples, because some of them can be a little intimidating (like tamales). Below are some of the Latin treats I’ve shared with you before:
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I missed eating Paella, a typical Spanish dish which is made with meat & seafood. My response was that I didn’t miss it because I can still have delicious vegetarian versions of it. Candle 79 in NYC has one of the best vegetarian paellas I’ve ever had!
This was the conversation that inspired me to make paella vegetariana (vegetarian paella) for my friend’s food & wine party . Each year, my friend Kim hosts us to enjoy an array of international dishes. This year’s contributions ranged from pan de bono (cheese bread from Colombia), to trifle (dessert from England), to fried pickles from the south. My offering this year consisted of this vegetarian paella & sangria. I’m very fond of the version I make at home because it maintains the integrity of the paella flavors & is full of delicious veggies. This paella vegetariana (vegetarian paella) will stand up to any Spanish version out there; you & your loved ones are sure to love it!
Ingredients(makes roughly 14 servings)
1 package Spanish yellow rice, safron flavored
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup white onion, chopped
1 cup tomato, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 sweet pimento (jarred), finely chopped
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup green beans, cooked & chopped
1 cup sweet peas
1/2 cup flat parsley, finely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook yellow rice according to package instructions. When the rice is about 5 minutes from being done get started on the remaining ingredients. In a large pan, heat olive oil & garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the onion, tomato & peppers & cook for 4 -5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add cooked yellow rice, green beans, artichoke & sweet pimiento, fully integrate & remove from heat. Add the sweet peas, flat parsley, salt & pepper to taste.
Serve hot, perhaps with a cup of refreshing sangria, & enjoy this Spanish staple. Buen provecho!
Have you had paella before? What’s your favorite Latin dish?