Spring Veggie Paella

Spring Veggie Paella
Second to the olive bar, the bulk section is my favorite part of the grocery. How great is it that you can buy only as much as you need for a specific recipe? I was on a barley kick in bulk until one time when I flipped the handle and ended up with triple the amount I needed. After months of barley, barley, barley, I took a much-needed break.

Now I’m back to barley. Yesterday I made spring veggie paella subbing out traditional Spanish Bomba rice for whole-grain barley. Of course I had to use asparagus and peas for vegetables along with pimientos, which are cherry peppers with mild heat. It turned out to be a filling veggie main, and I have plenty of leftovers for lunch this week.

Spring Veggie Paella
Adapted from Food & Wine May 2014

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped pimientos (one 4-ounce jar, drained)
1 tomato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups barley
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley plus more for serving
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 6-1/2 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pimientos, tomatoes and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the salt, turmeric, barley, stock, water and parsley and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add the asparagus, peas, artichokes and beans and continue cooking until the barley is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

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