In paella, the focus is rice cooked in an intense stock, with meat adding flavor, but meat has taken over and often the paella emerges with the meat cooked perfectly but the rice overcooked and mushy. Dirt Candy's paella focuses on cooking the bomba rice perfectly, and we use a toasted rice crisp to get the sweetness of socarrat into the dish.
Recipe adapted from Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen, Ryan Dunlavey, and Grady Hendrix (Clarkson Potter, 2012).
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
In a blender, blend the olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and garlic until smooth. Then toss all of the vegetables in a large bowl with the oil mixture until every piece is coated.
Lay the vegetabels on the grill, one type of vegetable at a time, and cook until they have a slight char but are still firm, about 5 minutes.
Puree the canned tomatoes in a blender until smooth. In a pot over medium heat, simmer the tomato saffron broth and stock.
In a large pot, heat the oil to medium-high and sweat the onion and garlic. Add the green olives and a pinch of salt; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook until they break down into a loose paste, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Add the paprikas and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine and cook until it's evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Do not stir the dish again.
Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
To plate, pour the yellow saffron broth on a warm dish; top with rice, grilled vegetables, and a paella crisp.