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Vegetarian Paella

Brehon Garcia-Dale has transformed the Food & Wine Program at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Since assuming her current position a year ago, the classes, with a consistent and steady explosion in popularity, have been taught by a veritable who’s who in the Boston restaurant scene and a steady group of professional culinary educators. Some chefs who have particpated are; Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro, Rebecca Newell of The Beehive, Brian Poe of Poe’s Kitchen at The Rattlesnake, and Thomas Frost from Fairmont Hotels.

Brehon learned this recipe from Chef Instructor Diane Manteca during the “International Vegetarian Cuisine” course at the BCAE. The dish serves six people.


  • 1 block tofu, marinated in 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 pound soy based sausage (smoky flavor if possible)
  • 2 cups dry rice (long grain – uncle ben’s is best)
  • 8 plum tomatoes, diced in about 1/8″ pieces
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced small
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1 tsp. dry thyme
  • 1 tb kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • a few pinches of cayenne pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large pot add the olive oil and put heat on high.
  2. Add onions and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook on high for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not allow the tomatoes to overcook and lose their shape.
  5. Add the sausage, stir and cook another minute.
  6. Add the rice, wine, vegetable stock, tofu, bay leaves, cayenne, and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower the heat and cover, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  8. Add the peas .
  9. Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley.

By Brehon Garcia-Dale

Brehon Garcia-Dale is the Food & Wine Program Manager at the Boston Center for Adult Education on Arlington Street

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