Saffron Cauliflower-Rice Paella Recipe
"In a world of paleo, vegan, and eat-anything diets, my solution is to start with a gluten-free base," says Danny Seo, author of the new cookbook Naturally, Delicious. "This paella lets you customize the proteins to suit whoever's coming to dinner."
Photo: Linda Xiao
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 (2-pound) head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (7 to 8 cups)
- 2 to 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mixed meat or seafood, such as ½ pound Spanish chorizo, sliced, and ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1" chunks; or ½ pound large shrimp (about 8), peeled and deveined, and ½ pound mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juice, crushed by hand
- 1¼ cups vegetable stock
- ½ tsp. saffron threads
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
Total time: 40 to 50 minutes
Using a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse cauliflower in batches until reduced to the size of large grains; you should have about 4 packed cups. Set aside.
If using meat: In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook until sizzling and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo and chicken to a large plate; set aside.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. (If using seafood, heat 4 Tbsp. oil in skillet.) Add cauliflower and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in tomatoes, stock, and saffron and bring just to a boil.
Scatter chorizo and chicken over top of skillet contents. (If using seafood, arrange raw mussels and shrimp over top.) Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until thickened and fragrant (or, if using seafood, until mussels have opened and shrimp is just cooked through), about 5 minutes. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
Stir in peas and parsley and serve immediately, with lemon wedges on the side.