Arroz Vegetariano | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

Arroz Vegetariano


Bridget Batson and Patricky Kelly, Gitane

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on m May 4, 2013.
Serves 4-6


Picada Verde
1 large garlic clove
1 cup parsley leaves
½ cup olive oil

Splash of olive oil
1 cup diced onion (small dice)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers, a mix of green and red (and/or other vegetables; see instructions below)
2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes (can substitute canned)
5 sprigs parsley leaves only
5 sprigs thyme 
5 sprigs oregano
1 teaspoon pimenton
Salt and pepper

1 cup diced onion (small dice)
1 cup diced fennel bulb (small dice)
Splash of olive oil
1½ cups Valencia rice, Bomba is preferred
1 pinch saffron
1 cup thinly sliced spring onion
1 cup fennel fronds
¼ cup pimenton
1½ cups water or stock
Salt and pepper

½ cup assorted shaved baby seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, and/or peas
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper


1.    For the picada verde: With a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic with a pinch of salt until it forms a smooth paste. Add in the parsley and work it until well combined. Add the olive oil and season to taste.

2.    For the sofrito: In a small pot, combine all of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it slowly cook until almost dry and caramelized.  Pass the mixture through a medium-size food mill. The beauty of sofrito sauce is that you can take any over-ripe produce you’ve been meaning to use and make a great sauce. We’ve used carrots, zucchini, celery and all kinds of peppers. The slow cooking and caramelizing is key.

3.    For the rice: Preheat your oven to 350˚F. In a 10-inch paella pan, slowly sweat the onions and fennel bulb in olive oil for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the rice, 1½ cups of the sofrito, and the saffron, spring onions, fennel fronds, and pimenton. Finish with the water or stock and stir until well combined. Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender, the liquid has been absorbed, and a crust begins to form at the bottom of the pan.

4.    Finish the dish with the shaved baby vegetables dressed in olive oil, the picada verde, and a squeeze of lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »