Calling this a paella, even with the quotations, is probably a cardinal culinary sin. In my defense, however, the dish was inspired by the ingredient list for Ottolenghi’s vegetable paella in Jerusalem. I didn’t feel like launching into official paella-dom, though, so I just compiled the ingredients I had on hand and called it a meal (and a paella). The whole thing took less than half an hour to make, and frankly, tasted delicious. Next time I’ll round it out with a bean of some sort (none of the varieties I had in the pantry seemed alluring) and maybe top it with some goat cheese.
(Incredibly) lazy woman’s vegetable “paella” (serves 2 as a light meal)
1 cup sprouted short grain brown rice (or whatever rice you can get your hands on)
2 large sweet peppers
1 jar artichoke hearts in marinade
1 cup tightly packed arugula, torn into small pieces if the leaves are large
1 Tbsp lemon juice
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice until tender.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, drizzle them with oil, and roast for about 10-15 minutes, turning them halfway through. (Alternatively, you could roast them on the flame of your stovetop, but alas, I have an electric stove…).
When the rice is done and the peppers have cooled enough to handle, peel them, chop them, and throw them in a large bowl with the arugula and artichokes. Cover with the hot rice and let it wilt the greens. Dress with marinade from the artichokes, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. (I think I probably used about 2 Tbsp of the marinade, but just pour it in slowly and taste as you go until the flavor seems right to you).
That’s it! You’re ready to eat. And, you’re reaping the incredible health benefits of the mighty artichoke, which, as it turns out, has tremendous antioxidant power. Win-win.