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Asparagus Paella


Asparagus Paella

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. 


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Calories Per Serving


Recipe adapted from Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen, Ryan Dunlavey, and Grady Hendrix (Clarkson Potter, 2012). 


For the grilled vegetables

  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 Pound asparagus, cleaned and bottom of stems broken off
  • 1 Pound frozen baby artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 Pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

For the paella

  • 1 Cup canned tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 Cups vegetable stock
  • 4 Cups yellow tomato saffron broth
  • 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 Cup chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green olives
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Cups bomba rice
  • 1 Teaspoon sweet red paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 1/2 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Paella crisp, for garnish


For the grilled vegetables

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.

For the paella

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