Vegetarian Paella Salad

Vegetarian Paella Salad

Do you match wine? I’m no wine expert, although I do certainly enjoy a nice chilled glass of white or rose, but I’ve recently started to notice how some wines compliment and some wines clash with certain flavours. The lovely people at Yapp Brothers challenged me and some other food bloggers to match a wine in the #DrinksOnUs competition. They asked me for my favourite dishes to cook and then suggested an appropriate match. I opted for fresh, herby flavours and was sent a stunning bottle of 2007 Pinot Blanc from the Alsace region of France. Wow, what a gorgeous wine; straw yellow, this soft and delicate dry white wine is filled with honey and floral aromas. It was a fresh palate bursting with ripe orchard fruit and so much flavour – it could certainly stand up to robust flavoured and herb scented foods.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, whereby Yapp Brothers sent me a bottle of wine to match to a favourite dish. I hadn’t heard of Yapp Brothers before but am thoroughly impressed by their range, knowledge and customer service. If you need a specialist wine merchant then i would certainly recommend them.

Pinot Blanc and Paella

I have to say this was a very exciting challenge for me – such a wonderful way to get the inspiration flowing and I’d love to be able to do more wine and food matching in the future. It’s so interesting how a wine can bring the taste of a dish alive or totally kill it dead.

Anyway, on tasting the full flavoured wine I thought it could stand up to some serious spices, and my thoughts turned to smoked paprika. It being a warm day ( and to be honest it was more convenient to make supper in advance!) I went along the salad route. Somehow these thoughts morphed into a paella salad of saffron and smoked paprika infused rice, studded with stunning fresh and marinated vegetables and lifted with a sherry vinegar dressing. More paella should be made as salads, it worked stunningly well!

The match with the wine was also rather pleasing ( remember I’m a novice at wine matching), but the robust, strongly flavoured white added to the subtle spicing of the rice dish and resulted in a well matched pair. Maybe you’ll give a try and tell me what you think?

Vegetarian Spanish paella salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

free from paella

serves 4

1 cup rice
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of saffron
8-10 small plum tomatoes
1 red pepper, cut into chunks and roasted for 20-30 mins in oil ( preferably chilli oil)
1/2 jar of marinated artichoke hearts
3 spring onions, sliced
Handful of blanched peas
Handful mixed olives
Large handful parsley, roughly chopped
Lemon wedges to serve

For the dressing:
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of saffron

  1. Put all the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and warm slightly to let the smoked paprika and saffron infuse, set aside.
  2. Boil the rice in water flavoured with the other smoked paprika and saffron. Once cooked, toss in the dressing.
  3. Leave to cool to room temperature and then stir in all the other ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges

vegan paella salad







Vegetarian Paella

I’ve recently been lucky enough to have been given some lovely tapas dishes and it’s inspired me to cook more Spanish food. To be honest, I don’t find Spanish food easy as a vegetarian (even though it’s a pretty good destination for some rather fine vegetarian restaurants) and don’t cook it often. Big S used to love Paella when she was tiny but for some reason I haven’t cooked it in a while. But since we’ve been guinea pig sitting this week and they’ve been eating us out of house and home in terms of fresh vegetables, I thought it best to use up some before they’ve all gone!

The guinea pigs have been very well looked after and I think there may be some tears when they go home! We really need to get a pet, but both Big and Little S are allergic to cats and dogs (our favoured option) …. somehow a mouse that lives for a couple of years isn’t quite enough 😦

Anyway, Fluff-ball and Snuffles (named by the girls, they didn’t have names before!) do eat an awful lot and have spent a week feasting on selections of fresh vegetables. I hope they don’t miss the peppers, courgette, sweetcorn and peas used in the paella!

Vegetarian Paella (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves about 6

  • 1/2 onion
  • 2/3rds courgette
  • 2/3rds red pepper
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp saffron (or use turmeric if you don’t have any)
  • 1 1/3 cups paella or arborio rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • seasoning
  • 6 cups boiling water

– Chop the vegetables into as fine a dice as possible

– Saute the onion, pepper and courgettes in olive oil until golden

– Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

– Add the tomatoes, smoked paprika (and turmeric, if using) and rice. Fry briefly. Then add half the boiling water and some seasoning.

– Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes, checking once or twice thatit hasn’t stuck too much.

– Add the remaining water.

– Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

– After 10 minutes, add the frozen peans and sweetcorn.

– Check seasoning and let sit for 10 minutes before eating.