This is one of my most successful vegetarian 'Ish' recipes. It doesn't always work taking a seafood or meat-based recipe and turning it veggie. But in this case, the wonderful Spanish flavours of saffron, tomato, garlic and olives translates really well. Short grain brown rice adds extra fibre and texture without feeling too 'virtuous'. Fresh green beans and toasted pumpkin seeds add crunch and colour. For the die-hard meat eaters, this is lovely served with a fillet of simply baked firm white fish or a tuna steak.
1tbls olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g short grain brown rice
6 strands saffron
600ml vegetable stock
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp dried oregano
6 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
12 black or green olives, chopped
6 artichoke hearts, halved
115g frozen peas
115g green beans, chopped into short lengths
2tbls chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
2tbls pumpkin seeds, toasted
* Add the saffron to the stock and bring to the boil.
* Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft.
* Add the rice and stir for a minute.
* Pour in the stock, dried herbs, olives, artichoke hearts and chopped tomatoes.
* Simmer covered for 25 minutes until the rice is cooked, stirring often. Add a little more liquid if necessary.
* Add the green beans, peas and parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes.
* Season with lemon and black pepper.
* Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds