Black-Eyed Pea Paella Recipe

Try making this incredible Black-Eyed Pea Paella Recipe with pimentón.

| April 26, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea Paella

Using the technique chef Jose Andrés taught her, author Kim O'Donnel has created a meatless version of paella with black-eyed peas, a new twist on New Year’s hoppin’ John.

Photo Courtesy Da Capo Press

Kim O’Donnel knows meat eaters. In fact, she is one. As a voice for the Meatless Monday campaign, she’s been cooking up delicious you-won’t-miss-the-meat fare for the vegetarian-curious-but-vegan’s-too-crazy crowd. With a focus on holidays (or any celebration), the versatile recipes found in The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations (Da Capo Books, 2012) ensure that eaters of all dietary stripes will leave the table satisfied. Cast aside those fears of cardboard tofurkey and gray starches. Instead, revel in dishes that inspire, surprise, and are so tasty, “meatless” is an afterthought (with allergy- and animal-free options, to boot). The following excerpt comes from the section “Winter: Ringing in the New Year.”

Buy this book in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations.

I learned how to make paella many years ago from one of Spain’s great culinary ambassadors, chef José Andrés. Using the technique Andrés taught me, I have created a meatless version with black-eyed peas, a new twist on New Year’s hoppin’ John.

The amounts below are for six hearty servings. Ideally, you’ll want to use a 15-inch paella pan to ensure the most even cooking results, but don’t worry if that’s not an option. Use a wide and shallow skillet (lid not necessary) as close to 15 inches in diameter as you can get. For a half-batch, use a pan about 10 inches wide.

Saffron, which is a spice derived from a variety of crocus, is a traditional seasoning in paella, for both flavor and color. For this dual tribute to the Catalan and the American South, the saffron is not as integral to the final dish as is the pimentón (smoked paprika), which adds layers of flavor to the beans. You can do this dish without the saffron, but in my humble opinion, you can’t do it without the pimentón.

Black-Eyed Pea Paella Recipe

4 cups vegetable stock
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion (more than 1/2 medium-size onion)
1 cup seeded and diced bell pepper of your favorite color (about 1 medium-size pepper)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen black-eyed peas, or 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, cooked*
1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1-1/4 cups tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron (optional)
1/2 cup white wine you enjoy drinking
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice (1 pound)
Optional garnishes: Pickled peppers, chopped fresh parsley, lemon zest

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