Beetroot paella is a twist on the traditional dish. And, as you would expect, features beetroot! In the cooking stages, it looks tomato red but when its ready to serve the red/purple of the beetroot come to the fore! It's a great winter dish - rich and filling. Here's how to do it:

Beetroot Paella

A paella of any kind is idea for big lunches and family get togethers. Ideally, you will have a large paella dish. But, if not, then use a wide and flat frying pan.

Beetroot Paella- rice added

The origins of paella

You can check out the origins of the famous Spanish paella dish here. Albeit with a vegan twist instead of the traditional rabbit and chicken. Yes, the real paella is not a seafood paella!. 

Ingredients and method for beetroot Paella

1. Choose your pan

You will need a big wide pan. For these ingredients, your pan needs to be able to hold about 2 litres of water. Test your pan before you begin. 

If you pan can only hold 1 litre of water, then follow the recipe but cut the ingredients in half.

2. Chop and lightly fry

3 to 6 cloves of roughly chopped garlic. (Don't chop too small).
100-120 grams of diced onion. About 1 large onion or two smaller ones.
Then lightly fry both the onion and garlic in 100 grams of Serriana premium olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes.

3. Chop, add vegetables. Lightly fry (whilst stirring) for 5 to 7 minutes


300 grams of beetroot. Peeled and diced.

200 grams of red and/ or yellow peppers

200 grams of flat green beans (chopped), broad beans (shelled) and large white beans (any combination will do, but make sure you have enough 'greens')

1 large carrot peeled and roughly chopped
Once the vegetables are light brown go to the next step

4. Add tomatoes/ tomato sauce and herbs

250 grams of sun ripened tomato sauce. A jar of high quality tomato sauce (no added sugar) is best, but if not tins of 'sun ripened' tomatoes will also do - albeit, if they are watery, you just need a little less stock.
Add a couple of handful of herbs (sage and rosemary leaves). Strip the leaves off the hard steams.
Season with pepper, a teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of cumin (or a garam masala or other mildly spicy mix).

Flavour with a pinch of salt - or a couple of good splashes of Serriana red wine vinegar. Or both! You can also use a Vinagre de Jerez or Modena vinegar. A good splash is about half a table spoon.

Now we're going to add rice and finish

Beetroot Paella - final steps

5 Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Stir gently for 7 to 10 minutes 
Now add 600 grams or millilitres of vegetable stock (or water and a stock cube). You can reduce the water content a little if your tomato sauce is very watery. Then bring to the boil and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.

6. Add the short grain rice, stir once, shake the pan and then leave to simmer. No more stirring.
Add 350 grams of short grained rice (don't use Basmati rice - as that is a long grained rice). You can also use 'risotto' rice as that is short gained.

Then, make sure the rice is distributed evenly around your pan. And that there vegetable stock is mixed well with the rice. Then let it settle. You aren't going to stir anymore!

However, now is the time to shake the pan a couple of times! Essentially, grab the handle and shake it horizontally, just to get the liquid to spread more evenly. It's what the Spanish do. Apparently, its very important.

7.  Finish the rice with the final touches
Add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Then, squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top of the rice.
Also, sprinkle thyme herbs on top (or any soft leaf herb with a lemony flavour).
Take the second half of the lemon and cut into thin slices - place those around the top of the rice.
If you have springs of fresh rosemary - place those on top of the rice too.

8.  Simmer on a high heat for 6 minutes
This extra heat will create a nice and crispy base

9. Reduce the heat to lo and simmer for 6 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice

How to serve

10. Place on the table and prepare to eat your delicious vegan paella!
Some people like to leave the paella to 'draw' the last of the liquid into the rice before serving. Also, if you want to leave the paella for 10 or 15 minutes whilst you eat a starter or share a glass of wine, then just cover it. Tin foil will cover well and keep the moisture and heat in. If leaving it for longer, use kitchen towels to insulate it a bit better. Just be sure to have turned off the hob completely!

How Many does it feed?

This recipe is enough to feed 6 hungry people (as a main / only dish). If you add a starter or a salad, then it will feed 8 people. 

Beetroot Paella - ready to serve

Fun Beetroot facts

Beetroot is a great source of folate acid (particularly important during pregnancy) and manganese. And, manganese is a critical element in the formation of proteins and enzymes too.

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