Serves 6 to 8
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups short- or medium-grain white rice
2 cups warm water
11/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon saffron threads or ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained
3/4 cup sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
8 ounces thin asparagus or green beans, trimmed and halved
1/3 cup green olives
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1. Place paella pan over medium heat and let pan get hot. Add oil and tip pan to coat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions and fennel are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in rice, lightly coating all grains with oil. Stir in water, paprika, wine, salt, saffron, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Gently shake pan to distribute rice evenly. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat and scatter asparagus and green olives over rice. Cover pan and bake in preheated oven until rice is tender with a slightly crusted bottom, about 30 minutes.
3. Scatter chopped parsley over top and serve hot.
Chef's tip: When garlic is browned too quickly, it will become bitter. If sauteing with other vegetables, add garlic toward the end of the browning process.
To ensure time with your guests, make the paella up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate cooled paella in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Spread in paella pan, cover and reheat in a 350 F oven for 25 to 30 minutes.