Fresh Green Pesto Paella

0:55 m

Has plant-based food ever looked this good? We've come up with a wonderfully vibrant take on the Spanish classic, paella. Packed full of fresh herbs, asparagus and pesto - this is the sort of dish that could become a firm favourite around your dinner table. Zesty, healthy and delicious, we challenge you not to enjoy it!

Start cooking ➞



For the paella

<item-todo-done>1 onion<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>3 cloves garlic<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200g asparagus<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200g green beans<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>90ml olive oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 tsp sea salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 litre water<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 lemon<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>155ml dry white wine<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 tsp bouillon powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200g paella rice<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>160g frozen peas<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200g spinach<item-todo-done>

For the pesto

<item-todo-done>60g toasted pine nuts<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 ½ tsp salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>60g fresh basil leaves & stalks<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>20g rocket<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>50g plant-based grated parmesan<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 clove garlic<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 lemon<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> juiced<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>300ml extra virgin olive oil<item-todo-done>

To serve

<item-todo-done> handful of fresh basil leaves<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 lemons<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> cut into wedges<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> toasted pine nuts<item-todo-done>


Note Ingredients double when servings increase, method may have to be adjusted accordingly.

For the paella

<item-todo-done>2 onions<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>6 cloves garlic<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>400g asparagus<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>400g green beans<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>180ml olive oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tsp sea salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 litre water<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 lemon<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>310ml dry white wine<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tsp bouillon powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>400g paella rice<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>320g frozen peas<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>400g spinach<item-todo-done>

For the pesto

<item-todo-done>120g toasted pine nuts<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>3 tsp salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>120g fresh basil leaves & stalks<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>40g rocket<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>100g plant-based grated parmesan<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 clove garlic<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 "lemon<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> juiced"<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>600ml extra virgin olive oil<item-todo-done>

To serve

<item-todo-done> handful of fresh basil leaves<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>4 "lemons<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> cut into wedges"<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> toasted pine nuts<item-todo-done>

Before you start

Wide, thin-based pan with a lid | Pestle and mortar or blender

Prepare the ingredients

  • Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic.
  • Trim off the white ends and the woody tails off the asparagus and green beans respectively, and chop both into roughly 10cm chunks.

Make the paella

  • Heat the oil in a wide, thin-based pan and add the onion and salt until softened (around 5-8 minutes), then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Stir in the rice and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until bubbly.
  • Add 1 litre water, bouillon and zest the lemon directly into the pan | Simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Add the asparagus, beans, peas and spinach on top of the dish, pushing them well into the rice but not otherwise disturbing it.
  • Cook for 12 minutes on a low heat uncovered, then set aside off heat with lid on for 10 minutes (or cover with foil) to let the rice continue cooking in its steam while you make the pesto.

Make the fresh pesto

  • Blend all the pesto ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil until you have a thickish paste, then gradually incorporate the oil until you have a smooth sauce.
  • If using a pestle and mortar, crush the toasted pine nuts with the salt and garlic first, before  crushing in the basil followed by the cheese and then the oil and lemon juice.
  • Spoon half the pesto into paella and leave the rest aside in a glass jar topped up with more oil.

Time to serve

  • Garnish the paella with fresh basil, more toasted pine nuts and wedges of lemon.

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