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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bean Pebbled Paella

This week has just flown by! I’ve been sick the last couple of days, so I sat on the couch a lot and napped to kick this cold out of me. So far so good, the cold seems to be on the way out!

Earlier in the week, I harvested some of our Swiss chard and used it in Bean Pebbled Paella, a recipe I grabbed from the Star Tribune years ago. I love that it uses beans (kidney, garbanzo, & black) instead of meat and has some yummy veggies like chard and red pepper.

This time, I tried to make all the beans from scratch instead of from a can. Since it only calls for ½ cup of each bean type, I end up with a lot of leftover beans and I didn’t want that. I also have a two pound bag of cranberry beans (aka roman beans) and used them instead of kidney.

So, I went on my merry way soaking the beans and cooking them the next day. How did it turn out? Eh, well…the garbanzo beans were spot on, but the other beans…turned into a big pot of mush. Ugh. Better luck next time, right? I was able to salvage ½ cup of the cranberry beans and my pantry came to the rescue with the black beans. I guess I need to perfect my bean cooking.

Mmm…dinner! This recipe makes a ton, so it would be perfect for a large family or to have guests over. Don’t worry if you don’t have a paella pan. I don’t and have never used one (although I wouldn’t mind trying one someday…).

Bean-Pebbled Paella
(6-8 servings)

½ c. cooked chickpeas
½ c. cooked dark red kidney beans
½ c. cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. low-sodium veggie broth
¼ tsp crumbled saffron threads
¼ c. olive oil
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 c. rinsed and thinly sliced Swiss chard leaves and stalks, about 1 bunch
1 ripe tomato, diced
¼ c. chopped Italian parsley
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 c. short-grain rice, such as Arborio
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450°. Drain and rinse chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans. In a saucepan, add the veggie broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the saffron and reserve.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions, garlic, and pepper. Sauté until the pepper is slightly softened. Add the Swiss chard, tomato, and parsley. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Then stir in the paprika and cumin.

Stir in the rice and coat well with the pan mixture. Pour the reserved hot veggie broth mixture. Bring to a boil. Add the beans and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to boil, stirring and rotating the pan occasionally, until the rice is no longer soupy, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the saucepan to the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is almost al dente and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove to a warm spot, cover with foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes until the rice is finished cooking and is tender, but still firm.


  1. Since we can never remember to do things ahead of time and don't care for canned beans, we use a pressure cooker and it works great-- esp for chickpeas

  2. Glad to have you back and better! I grew up eating paella and have yet to make a veggie version. I was just looking at some Filipino cookbooks and thinking of veg-izing some. Now, I don't have to. Thank you!

  3. If you ever need bean-cooking advice, let me know -- I cook and store my beans all of the time!


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