Saturday, May 12, 2012

Recipe: Paella with Green Garlic

This was a test run for an easy 'company recipe'. It was as easy as it looked in the cookbook, as delicious as I hoped, and a winner. I made a few tweaks (who doesn't?) from the original recipe, which came from a vegetarian cookbook. However, I wanted to see if I could make a variation by adding boneless chicken thighs. Oh yum, yum. My husband declared this recipe a keeper - with incredibly moist and flavorful chicken. So I think it passes muster and can confidently be used as a 'company recipe'.

You must wonder if I am turning into a stalk of green garlic by now. Well, our house does smell very garlicky, but so far, I don't think I look like a stalk of green garlic. I am an example of 'you are what you eat' but not literally - yet. :)


• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 sweet red pepper, cut into strips (I used some of our frozen peppers from last summer)
• 2-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (low sodium versions)
• 8 ounces risotto rice (I weighed this out, I should have also measured to see what 8 ounces was - addendum - 8 oz is approx. 1-1/3 cups)
• 4 stalks green garlic, trimmed roots, washed, thinly sliced white and green sections - this will be divided
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
• Cayenne pepper - just a tiny smidgen
• Salt and pepper to taste (I forgot to do this!)
• 1 tomato - sliced into wedges (I used half fresh and 6 slices of dried tomatoes as a test - I preferred the 'punch', i.e., taste, of the dried tomatoes)
• 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


1. Add olive oil to paella pan or wok or large cast-iron skillet (this is what I used). Heat.
2. Add peppers to the pan, heat until soft and a little bit crusty but not burned.
3. Add spices and half of chopped green garlic to pan.
4. Add rice to pan and stir to coat evenly with oil and spices.
5. Heat broth to boiling in separate pan.
6. Pour broth into skillet, add chicken thighs.
7. Heat to boiling and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, turning chicken thighs over after 5 minutes.
8. Add peas, mix in with rice, then add tomatoes on top of rice around chicken thighs, then cover to cook for 15-20 additional minutes. Do not peek or stir.
9. All broth should be absorbed and rice soft.
10. Uncover and then sprinkle the remaining green garlic on top of the dish.
11. Serve immediately.

This dish would be lovely served with a steamed whole artichoke or grilled asparagus plus a green salad and some hearty bread to make sure every bit of the paella is eaten off the plate.

Paella ready to cover. 

Paella covered with my largest pan cover and aluminum foil to finish covering the edges. 

Paella - cooked, now add the remaining chopped green garlic as garnish but so the delicate green garlic flavor is not cooked out of the dish. 

Paella - we ate half ourselves. Thus, this recipe would easily serve 4 people, especially if served with another vegetable such as a whole artichoke or grilled asparagus plus a salad and bread. I love left-overs since so many days we work outside until after sundown and are often too tired to cook a lovely meal. 

Who would like to come to dinner? 

What do you serve for company that is easy, relatively quick, beautiful, and oh yes!! delicious, the final and most important factor? 

I think this is the end of my green garlic frenzy, although I should add that I am also drying some chopped green garlic in my food dehydrator and also freezing some chopped green garlic (just chop and freeze on a cookie tray or be 'lazy' and just add to a freezer bag). 

Next up? Garlic scapes in a few weeks! I can't wait. :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow (in addition to what you eat!) - inch by inch, row by row, 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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