Multi-vegetable paella & avo aioli

26 Mar, 2024 | Recipes

Recipe by Bettina Campolucci Bordi; @bettinas_kitchen

Serves 4 – 6

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Sticky honey salmon recipe served with greens and chili

After living in Spain for the last 11 years, this is a veggie contribution to Spain’s beloved national dish. It’s a jam-packed delicious version that converts the weary.

For the topping:

  • 200g green beans or asparagus
  • 1 small sweet potato, sliced
  • 1/2 red (bell) pepper, sliced
  • 1 bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Olive oil, for cooking

For the paella:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 250g aborio rice or other risotto rice
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 750ml boiling water, slightly more if needed
  • Pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste

For the avo-aioli

  • 2 avocados, peeled and stoned
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

To serve

  • Lemon or lime wedges
  • Chopped parsley and basil


1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

2. Coat all the topping vegetables with oil, then scatter over a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 15 minutes in the oven. After 15 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 200ºC and cook for another 15–20 minutes until the vegetables are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

3. In the meantime, in a big, deep pan, start frying the onion with a good amount of olive oil. Add all the spices along with the fresh and sundried tomatoes and give it a good stir for 5–10 minutes.

4. Add the rice and gently fry for 5 minutes until it is well coated with all the spices. Add the frozen peas and boiling water to the pan. Put the heat on medium to low, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. If you see that the water evaporates quickly and the rice is still not cooked, just add a bit more water. Go steady.

5. To make the avo-aioli, add all the ingredients except for the parsley into a blender and blitz until you have a nice smooth, creamy texture. Finally add the parsley and give it a good mix. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

6. After 20 minutes, check on the paella. Make sure that the rice is cooked and there is no liquid left. Arrange the roasted veggies on top in a beautiful pattern.

7. Serve straight from the pan with lime or lemon wedges, sprinkles of parsley and basil with dollops of avo-aioli.

This dish can definitely be pre-prepared and just heated in the oven before serving. It’s a showstopper and an amazing dish to serve to friends on a weekend.

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