Perfect Potato Paella

A few months ago during a trip to Michigan to visit family, I went to a restaurant where the only vegetarian item on the menu was a vegan paella. It was quite possibly one of the best restaurant dishes I've ever eaten. And apparently, the chef keeps the recipe a closely-guarded secret. I know this because when I asked for the recipe, I was totally shot down. "Is it for allergy reasons?" the waiter asked. "No, um, I just want to know what exactly is in this paella and in what proportions." "So you want the recipe...hmm...I'm not sure the chef will give that to you, but I'll go ask." Moments later, the poor server returned looking defeated himself. "I'm sorry," he said, "I can only tell you that aside from what's listed on the menu, it involves sherry wine, sherry wine vinegar, and de-glazing."

That was all the info I needed. Immediately I set my imagination into overdrive, picturing myself in a large chef's hat, riding a bike home from the Farmer's Market with my basket of veggies and bread and wine.

Similar to this:

Putting my Photoshop skills to use...haha!

Now, months later, two trips to Whole Foods and the Brentwood Farmer's Market later, this is what I've come up with. And loves, it really is perfect.

Perfect Potato Paella
Serves 8

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Small Leeks
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Cup Sliced Carrots
1 1/2 Cups Artichoke Hearts (either fresh or frozen - I used a combination of both)
1 lb. Mixed Baby Potatoes (such as Fingerling or New Red Potatoes)
3/4 Cup Sherry Wine
1/4 Cup Sherry Wine Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Cup Imagine brand No-Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
2 Yellow Squash (about 1 1/2 Cups sliced)
1 1/2 Cups Cut Fresh Green Beans
1/2 Tsp. Saffron Threads
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Can Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/4 Tsp. (or less) Cayenne Pepper


1. In a heavy-bottomed pot (such as a Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round French Oven, Cherry Red) or Paella Pan (such as a Paderno World Cuisine 18.5 Inch Polished Carbon Steel Paella Pan), add olive oil, garlic, leeks and sea salt. Saute until tender and bottom of pan begins to brown.

2. Add carrots and artichokes. Stir well.

3. Add potatoes and stir again. Pour in sherry wine, sherry wine vinegar, juice of one lemon and the broth. Stir again. Cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat, until artichokes, carrots and potatoes just begin to soften slightly and mixture is boiling.

4. Add squash, green beans, saffron threads and peppers. Open can of San Marzano tomatoes, and squish into pieces with your (clean) hands. Pour entire contents of the can of tomatoes into the pan. Top with remaining spices, add more salt and/or pepper to taste, and stir again.

5. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, covered. Do not over-cook. Paella is done when potatoes are just tender enough to eat, all veggies are cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated. Enjoy!

Happy Monday, Loves!



  1. looks heavenly! Way to go erin. Love the chefs hat.

  2. i've been looking for a vegetarian way to use up my saffron! i'm definitely making this - good thing for your clever chef brain, erin!

  3. Your photoshop skills are seriously impressive,as is your comment proofreading/corrective Tweeting. You are hilarious.

    This recipe looks delicious!!! Welcome home (again).

  4. Look at you go little miss Chef Erin. :)
    The photoshop pic is AWESOME.

  5. what great pics! your presentation is great... funny pic of you on the bike lol!

  6. What a gorgeously coloured meal! Good job with this one, hun!

  7. What a cute story! I love your photoshop skillz! I also love your cooking mastery. Looks delish!

  8. this looks amazing!
    my non cooking self might even try it!!


Thanks for your comments! Hope you stop by again soon! XO!