Zucchini, onion, tomatoes and bell peppers stud this paella-inspired rice dish. You may add other vegetables, such as mushrooms and peas, or if you like something heartier, some slightly spicy Italian sausage is a good choice.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small dried red chile pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/4 cups short-grain white rice
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 lemon wedges
- Step 1
- Heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add chile pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft but not browned, about 6 minutes.
- Step 2
- Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Step 3
- Add rice; stir to coat well with the tomato mixture. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot directly from the pan, garnished with parsley and lemon wedges, if desired.
Tip: Valencia rice (sometimes called paella rice) is Spanish-grown, short-grain rice classically used when making paella. It differs from other short-grain rice because of its ability to absorb moisture without breaking down. When fully cooked, the individual grains of rice remain whole. 'Bomba' is the best variety. Find it in specialty markets or online at tienda.com. Arborio rice can be used as a substitute, but yields a creamier dish.
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