If Mother Nature will not bring us spring, then I will, by way of this Spring Vegetable Paella.
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Spring Vegetable Paella
2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 ½ lbs total),
trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges; 2 Tbl chopped fronds reserved
12 oz baby carrots (from about 4 bunches), trimmed, peeled
8 oz turnips, peeled, cut into ¾ -inch pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
8 oz 1 ½ -inch red-skinned potatoes, halved
¼ cup plus 3 Tbl olive oil
¼ cup plus 1Tbl chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbl paprika
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ¼ cups Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1 14oz can vegetable broth
2 cups water
¾ cups dry white wine
1 lb asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup drained canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss fennel wedges, carrots, turnips, potatoes, and ¼ cup oil in a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown around edges, about 1 hour.
Finely mince ¼ cup parsley and garlic together. Transfer to small bowl. Stir in paprika, saffron, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Add rice and parsley mixture; stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth, 2 cups water, and wine; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus, garbanzo beans, and roasted vegetables. Increase heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season paella to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large platter. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.