Meatless Monday: Paella with Tomatoes

Smoked paprika adds a smoky, almost bacon-like flavor to recipes; use it in vegetarian dishes like Mark Bittman's Tomato Paella.
By: Michelle Buffardi
Related To:
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Paella is traditionally made with chicken, seafood and smoky chorizo sausage. Mark Bittman's stripped-down, vegetarian version is not only meatless, but it takes much less time to make. It's loaded with tomatoes, so you can use up the fresh end-of-season tomatoes that are everywhere now, but that will be gone quite soon. Best of all, smoked paprika stands in for chorizo, giving the rice dish its traditional flavor.

You need an excuse to buy smoked paprika. It's not something that's always in the spice cabinet, like cinnamon and black pepper. But once you buy it for a recipe, you'll be searching for more recipes to make with it. Smoked paprika is made from dried, ground peppers, just like ordinary paprika (you know, the kind you sprinkle on deviled eggs), but it's made with pimiento peppers that have been smoked over wood planks till they absorb the deep flavor. The spice imparts big, smoky notes, and is especially useful in vegetarian cooking; it adds an almost bacon-like flavor, minus the grease and  . . . bacon.

Makes 4-6 servings
3 1/2 cups stock or water
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into thick wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Large pinch saffron threads, optional
2 teaspoons Spanish pimenton (smoked paprika), or other paprika
2 cups Spanish or other short-grain rice
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Warm stock or water in a saucepan. Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat.

Put the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch or 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, saffron if you are using it, and paprika and cook for a minute more. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is shiny, another minute or two. Add liquid and stir until just combined.

Put tomato wedges on top of rice and drizzle with juices that accumulated in bottom of bowl. Put pan in oven and roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Check to see if rice is dry and just tender. If not, return pan to oven for another 5 minutes. If rice looks too dry but still is not quite done, add a small amount of stock or water (or wine). When rice is ready, turn off oven and let pan sit for 5 to 15 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with parsley. If you like, put pan over high heat for a few minutes to develop a bit of a bottom crust before serving.

Here's What to Make With the Rest of Your Smoked Paprika:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Meatless Monday: Penne With Roasted Tomatoes

Go meat-free today with Ellie Krieger's hearty tomato and white bean pasta dish.

Meatless Monday: Pasta with Winter Squash and Tomatoes

Make Mark Bittman's savory fall pasta dish: ziti with butternut squash and tomato sauce, for Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Parmesan Subs With Tomatoes and Basil

Eggplant isn't the only vegetable that can get the Parmesan treatment. Layer breaded zucchini, cheese and tomato sauce on baguettes as an alternative.

Meatless Monday: Panzanella

David Rocco's panzanella, a Tuscan tomato and bread salad, is so satisfying, you won't miss the meat at all on this Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday: Oktoberfest Feast

Celebrate Oktoberfest vegetarian style with Cooking Channel's Roasted White Asparagus with Sauerkraut Hollandaise and Toasted Pumpernickel Breadcrumbs.

Meatless Monday: Homemade Hummus

There are about a million hummus variations, pick one or go classic this Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday: Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower may seem a little boring -- it's the least colorful vegetable out there. But what it lacks in vibrancy, it makes up for with versatility.

Meatless Monday: Autumn Rice Salad

Quick-cooking rice makes this Autumn Rice Salad a speedy weeknight dinner.

Meatless Monday: Easy Sesame Noodles

A combination of peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil gives regular old spaghetti an Asian flair in this quick and easy recipe for sesame noodles.

On TV

The Grill Iron

7:30am | 6:30c

The Grill Iron

8:30am | 7:30c

Eat St.

9am | 8c

Eat St.

9:30am | 8:30c

Eat St.

10am | 9c

Eat St.

10:30am | 9:30c

Cheap Eats

11am | 10c

Cheap Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Cheap Eats

12pm | 11c

Cheap Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Cheap Eats

1pm | 12c

Cheap Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2pm | 1c

Cheap Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Cheap Eats

3pm | 2c

Cheap Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Cheap Eats

4pm | 3c

Cheap Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Cheap Eats

5pm | 4c

Cheap Eats

5:30pm | 4:30c

Carnival Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c

Carnival Eats

8:30pm | 7:30c

Carnival Eats

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Late Nite Eats

10pm | 9c

Late Nite Eats

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12am | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30am | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1am | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30am | 12:30c

Late Nite Eats

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Sundays 8|7c

Last-Minute Sides

So Much Pretty Food Here