Roasted Vegetable Paella

Roasted Vegetable Paella
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), cored, seeded, cut into ½” wide strips
  2. 2 pounds fennel bulbs, tops and cores removed, sliced ¼” thick
  3. 1 pound baby eggplants, unpeeled, sliced crosswise ¼” thick
  4. 1 large red onion, ¾” diced
  5. 2 cups yellow onions (2 onions), ¾” diced
  6. 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  7. 1 teaspoon saffron
  8. 1 ½ cups Spanish paella rice
  9. 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  10. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  11. 5-6 cups simmering chicken stock
  12. 3 ounces freshly grated aged Manchego cheese
  13. ½ cup pitted Manzanilla or Cerignola olives, halved
  14. ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Position racks evenly spaced in the oven.
  2. Place the peppers, fennel, eggplant, and red onion in a large bowl, and add ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and toss. Divide the vegetables between 2 sheet pans and spread in one layer. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a 14-16” paella pan or large Dutch oven. Add the yellow onions and sauté for 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saffron and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes stirring to coat the rice with oil. Place the jarred peppers with liquid and paprika in a food processor and process until pureed. Pour the mixture into the paella pan, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of the hot stock and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook uncovered over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, like a risotto. Continue to cook the rice over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring in 1 cup of the hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is al dente. Add the vegetables to the paella, add one more cup of stock, and stir carefully.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the Manchego cheese, olives, and scallions. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.
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