Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Leek Paella

Holidays aren’t really the same when you work from home. Today is kind of Monday, per usual. I allowed myself to sleep until 9am, which was a treat. Perhaps I’ll permit a late afternoon solo movie excursion. But I think the biggest break will be keeping this post short and sweet, and giving myself and you all a break from my daily reporting of these mundane life details.

I’ve been talking up this paella for weeks. It was my vegetarian option on New Year’s Eve, and the centerpiece of a veggie dinner party I hosted a few weeks ago with this as the starter.

Paella is one of the dishes from my cookbook that everyone seems to make and love. So I’m using that as evidence that you’re going to do culinary cartwheels over this seasonal, veggie version as well. Have I made my case yet?

Okay, awesome. Time to go get dressed and heat-up leftover Cauli Caponata and do work while watching a Sex and the City marathon the inauguration.

How are you all enjoying the holiday? Let me know in the comments. I’ll respond during commercial breaks, in between Samantha’s orgasms Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce’s wailing.

Eat up!

xo

Phoebe

Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Leek Paella

Serving Size: Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 cups paella or arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves or green scallions to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine the squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss to combine and arrange in an even layer. Bake in the oven until browned and caramelized, about 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or paella pan over a medium-high flame. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in the leeks and continue to cook until wilted, about 3 more minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, chili flakes, and rice. Stir to coat in the oil and onion mixture. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the rice has gotten a chance to toast on the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bit on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread the rice mixture in an even layer in the pan.
  4. Pour enough of the stock over the rice so it is just slightly submerged. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Taste the rice; it should be crusty around the edges and al dente on top, but cooked through in the middle. If not, add another cup of stock and continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. When paella is done, arrange the roasted butternut squash on top and garnish with parsley or scallions.
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7 Responses to Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Butternut Squash and Leek Paella

  1. Frankie says:

    Your life is anything but mundane. Does paella use wine usually? Cause this sounds like a cross between risotto and paella, esp with the leeks. Which is a good thing!!

  2. Lucy says:

    I just tried this recipe and it was delicious. I didn’t add wine as didn’t have any, and thought the squash didn’t need that much oil (I’d maybe half it next time!) But really yummy and filling :)

    • So glad you liked it Lucy! Thanks for stopping in and letting me know. I definitely have a heavy hand with olive oil, so always best to use as much or little as you’re comfortable with. I blame my mother :) Hope you’ll come back for more! xo

  3. Chanda says:

    HI, made this lastnight. Was wondering what the nutritional value is for this meal? Any idea?! Thanks.

  4. Ruth says:

    Hi, Phoebe
    I stumbled across this blog a while ago when hunting for great new recipe sites, and this is one of the first things I made! It’s a beautiful blog, with gorgeous food and photos, and exciting to know what a person can achieve when they put their mind to it!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thank you, Ruth! Really appreciate the kind words. I’m so thrilled you liked the Paella. Hope you’ll try more recipes sometime soon. cheers from across the pond! xo

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