Well, from what I’ve heard vegetarian food is not exactly available in Spain. So why not make it at home? Mixed mushrooms, some home made sausage and some super fun vegetarian shrimp (or more mushrooms) and you’ve got all the textures and flavours you’re looking for from paella. I had authentic paella once in my life (before veganism); a friend’s father had made it so I fought the urge to be horrified at the plethora of tentacles on my plate. It’s surprising when you’re not expecting it!! I mean, really though, who doesn’t love a good rice dish?!
I’m very happy with the results of this dish. It’s filling, complex, savoury and pops with deep, warm spices. Plus, it’s a real stunner. Also, all sea life remains exactly where it’s supposed to be – in the sea.
3 chorizo sausages (Here is my gluten-free recipe), fried until cripsy
1 tablespoon oil, any kind for browning the mushrooms
6 large cremini mushrooms, cut into large cubes
2 king oyster mushrooms, cut into large cubes
5 blue oyster mushrooms, chopped (or any other variety of oyster mushrooms)
100 g shemiji mushrooms (brown or white)
1/2 teaspoon salt, sprinkled over the mushrooms after they’ve browned
16 vegetarian shrimp (or shiitake mushroom caps, sliced)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
100 g smoked tofu, cut into small cubes
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely diced
500 g paella rice, or any medium grain rice
6 cups vegetarian chicken broth
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Pinch of saffron threads
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked Serrano pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
1 bunch scallions, end trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tomato sauce (optional; brightens the overall flavour)
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
In a large oven-safe sauce pan, brown the chopped mushrooms. Don’t crowd the pan and the mushrooms will brown up just fine. As each batch of mushrooms browns, sprinkle a little salt over them and set them aside.
In the meantime, pour the vegetarian chicken stock into a large stock pot and whisk in the nutritional yeast, both paprikas and Serrano pepper and heat over medium heat until boiling. Turn down to a simmer and keep it hot while you prepare the rest of the dish. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Add the olive oil to the pan you were frying the mushrooms in, turn the heat to medium-high and add the smoked tofu and the onions and sautee until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and the rice and stir, making sure that all the rice gets coated with oil. Keep it moving, while you allow the rice to get slightly toasted. Add the mushrooms back into the pan, the hot vegetarian chicken stock, scallions, white wine, tomato sauce (if using) and peas. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Push some of the vegetarian shrimp into the rice and then arrange some on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges.