Vegan Mixed Grain Vegetable Paella With Sausage and Castelvetrano Olives

Erin Scott

Vegan Mixed Grain Vegetable Paella With Sausage and Castelvetrano Olives

Herbed mixed grains with peppery sausage, zesty rouille, juicy-salty olives, and hearty vegetables make for the ultimate paella dish. 

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Serves: 4

A mixture of grains diversifies the nutrient profile in this plant-based paella from the Eat Plants Every Day cookbook and is heavy on vegetables such as cauliflower, fennel, peppers, and olives. 

What you need:

For the sofrito:
½ cup olive oil
1½ yellow onions, finely diced
½ cup seeded and finely diced bell pepper
1½ cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dry white wine
1½ teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon saffron threads

For the rouille: 
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
½ cup vegan mayonnaise

For the mixed grains:
¼ cup quinoa
¼ cup millet
¼ cup buckwheat
½ cup Arborio brown rice
½ cup cauliflower florets
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup sliced fennel
1 cup sliced vegan spicy Italian sausage
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup vegan chicken stock
⅓ cup chopped shishito peppers
½ cup Castelvetrano olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges

What you do:

  1. For the sofrito, in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, warm oil. When oil sizzles, add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes. 
  2. Pour in wine and deglaze pan, dislodging any browned bits on pan bottom, then simmer until wine reduces by half. Stir in tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until pan is relatively dry. Stir in paprika and saffron, remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
  3. For the rouille, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, and saffron and microwave for 30 seconds. Let cool to room temperature, then fold in mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. For the mixed grains, in a small saucepan, mix quinoa, millet, and buckwheat, and cook according to package directions, stopping when grains are half cooked. Cook rice in a separate small saucepan according to package directions, stopping when half-cooked. Combine mixed grains and rice and let cool. You will need only 1½ cups cooked grains; refrigerate remainder for another use.
  5. Fill a small saucepan about two-thirds full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Fill a bowl with ice and water and set nearby. Add cauliflower to boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and immerse in ice water until cool, then drain and pat dry.
  6. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add fennel and sear on one side until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out pan, return to medium-high heat, and add 1 more tablespoon oil. Add sausage and sear, without turning, until dark brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate with fennel.
  7. Remove all but ½ cup sofrito from pan, place the rest in another container in the refrigerator for future use. Add cooked grains, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and paprika, mix well, and spread mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Place pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring stock to a boil and position an oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat broiler.
  8. When a crust begins to form on bottom of grain mixture, after about 5 minutes, pour in stock, distributing it evenly, and then remove pan from heat. Do not stir grain mixture. Add fennel, cauliflower, peppers, sausage, and olives, distributing evenly throughout pan and pushing gently into grain mixture.
  9. Place pan at back of bottom oven rack and broil until a light crust begins to form on top and liquid is reduced by 90 percent, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Garnish with parsley, lemon, and rouille, and serve.
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