This is one of those dishes that just hits the spot. If you’re hungry, like I was a few moments ago, and took a bite of this wonderful collection of ingredients, like I just did, you’d be overwhelmed with satisfaction. There’s nothing like scooping a big spoon into some brown rice that’s been infused with vegetable broth, along with baby artichokes, roasted red bell peppers, diced tomatoes and a sweet fennel and vidalia onion blend. I’m telling ya, it was perfect.
This recipe is the real deal. It gives you a huge skillet of food that’s perfect any time of the year. It’s full of flavor that comes from its long list of ingredients. From kalamata olives to roasted garlic to dry white wine. While it does take some time to prepare, it’s well worth it. And really, the time isn’t all too long. Also, only minimal skills are necessary, so anyone can pull this one off.
I will warn you up front to be sure to do all your prepping beforehand. I did that and things were smooth sailing afterwards. I even took a bunch of photos for you to take a look at, like I normally do. I’ll show them below.
3 Cups Quartered Baby Artichokes, Rinsed
2 Red Bell Peppers, Stemmed and Coarsely Chopped
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, Sliced
1 Whole Garlic Bulb, Separated and Cloves Peeled
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Parsley, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Fennel Bulb, Stems Trimmed and Sliced Thinly
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1 14.5 Ounce Can of Diced Tomatoes, Drained
2 Cups Brown Rice
5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for their incredible resource called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. This recipe is fantastic as are many others in this book.
Prep All Ingredients
It definitely helps to prep as much as you can before doing any cooking. It also helps to get ingredients you’ll need out from where they’re hiding and to put them in bowls for easy access later on. I did all this and took some photos along the way.
First, I drained all the canned baby artichokes and placed them in a bowl.
Then, I trimmed and sliced the fennel and chopped the onion.
I stemmed the red bell pepper and chopped it into 1 inch pieces and then I measured out the frozen peas.
Finally, I measured out the kalamata olives and drained and emptied the can of diced tomatoes into a bowl.
Oh yeah, I also measured out the brown rice.
After all this, I was ready to go.
Arrange your oven racks so one of them is in the center position. Then, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Combine Artichoke & Peppers
In a large bowl, add the artichokes, chopped peppers, olives, garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and toss well.
Then, spread the mixture from the bowl onto a large baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the hot oven for 25 minutes.
Combine Parsley & Lemon Juice
In the same large bowl as you used earlier, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the chopped parsley. Mix these ingredients well.
When the vegetables are finished roasting in the oven, add them to the bowl with the parsley in it. Then, mix to combine everything well.
At this point, you can reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook Fennel & Onion
In a large skillet (like a big cast iron one), add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm the pan over medium heat. In the photos below, you’ll see that I started things off in a pot and then switched to the cast iron pan. I should have gone straight through with the skillet.
When the pan is to temperature, add the fennel and the onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, stir in the paprika and the tomatoes and cook, while stirring for another 3 minutes.
Cook the Rice
After adding and cooking down the tomatoes, you can go ahead and add the rice to the same pot. Then, add the broth, wine and 1 teaspoon of salt. It was at this point I switched from the pot to the large skillet. As you can see, all the ingredients fit just fine.
On your stove top, increase the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil. Stir for a bit and then cover the skillet and place it in your oven for about 50 minutes or until the rice is tender. When it’s finished and after you remove the skillet from your oven and take off the lid, this is what things should look like. Just beautiful.
Add Vegetable Topping
Now is the time to spread the vegetable mixture from the bowl over the ingredients that just came out of the oven. Carefully do this and then sprinkle the peas over everything as well.
Finally, place the lid back on the skillet and wait 5 minutes for the peas to thaw from the heat. After that, serve and enjoy!
The Final Vegetable Paella
I told you this dish was awesome. Just think about the flavor of those artichokes with those red peppers, garlic, fennel and onion. It’s so good. Give this one a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
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