Vegetable Saffron Rice

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Adapted from Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spain: A Culinary Road Trip

  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups paella-style rice (or, in a pinch, Arborio)
  • ½ cup each
    • Finely diced carrot
    • Finely diced red pepper
    • Green onions
    • Finely dice asparagus
    • Finely diced mushrooms
    • Finely diced zucchini
    • Finely diced yellow squash
  • ½ cup olive oil

Prep – dice all of the vegetables.  Measure the rice.  Place the stock in a pot.

35 minutes before mealtime – Combine saffron (either with the threads intact, ground in a small mortar and pestle, or rubbed between your finger and thumb) and 1 cup boiling water.  Stir to combine and allow to steep for several minutes.  Put the pot with the stock on low heat.

30 minutes before mealtime– Place the saffron mixture in a large sautee pan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the rice, stirring constantly until it has absorbed all of the water (and is a nice color from the saffron).  Add a cup of the stock along with the carrots, green onions, and pepper.  Continue stirring until the stock has been absorbed.

25 minutes before mealtime– Continue adding a cup of stock at a time, stirring as you do until it is absorbed, then repeat.  Do this for about 15 – 20 minutes until the rice has just become al dente.  You may still have 1 – 2 cups of stock left.

5 minutes before mealtime – Add the remaining vegetables and one more cup of the stock.  Cook until the vegetables are done, roughly 5 more minutes.

Mealtime – remove from heat, add the ½ cup of olive oil, stir, and serve.


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