Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who grew up in the castle depicted to the left. Because he was born and raised in the Basque country of Spain, where Loyola castle is located, I thought it would be fun to find an appropriate recipe to share with you this Saturday. So, in honor of St. Ignatius, I hope you’ll try this hearty vegetarian paella, which can be easily adapted to include chicken and shrimp.
Basque Vegetarian Paella
2 large red onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 tsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 12 oz jar quartered artichoke hearts, drained (I used Cento)
1 16 oz package cauliflower, carrots, and snow pea pods, thawed
1 ½ cup sliced red and yellow bell peppers
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp. saffron threads
¾ tsp. oregano
2 cups dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Cook onions and garlic in skillet about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in rice, tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, saffron, and oregano. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in vegetables. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you choose to make this dish in the traditional way, add 1 cup cooked sliced chicken breast, and 6 large shelled, deveined and cooked prawns/shrimp.