Arroz de Ayuno

"Fasting" rice with Salt Cod and Artichokes

One of the legacies of the country’s Catholic heritage, which prohibits the eating of meat on Fridays and during Lent, is the proliferation of salt cod dishes, such as this delightful “fasting” rice. In this recipe, the cod is cooked with the rice mixture without desalting first.


  • ½ lemon 
  • 6 small artichokes 
  • ½ pound salt cod, shredded and any skin or bones discarded 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil 
  • 2 tomatoes, halved crosswise, grated on the large holes of a handheld grater, and skins discarded 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into narrow strips 
  • 5 cups water 
  • 2 cups Spanish rice 
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen shelled English peas Salt


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Which Paella pan should I use? After receiving many inquires on what are the right size and characteristics for a paella pan, we've made a bit of research, and retrieved some information on that issue. We usually use regular, 15-inches paella pan, but we've managed to find some other sizes also. So if you want to find out which paella pan size suits you best, just keep reading... 

Squeeze the juice from the lemon half into a large bowl filled with water and set aside. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel off the tough, dark outer leaves. Cut off the stem flush with the bottom, cut off the top two-thirds of the leaves, and quarter the artichoke lengthwise. Using a small, sharp knife or a spoon, remove and discard the fuzzy choke. Slip the quarters into the lemon water. When all the artichokes have been trimmed, drain and pat dry.

Rinse the shredded salt cod and pat dry. In a large (about 15-inch) paella pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium, add the artichokes, bell pepper, and salt cod, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

Add the rice to the paella pan and stir to mix well. Pour in the boiling water, decrease the heat to medium-low, scatter the peas over the top, and cook for 15 minutes longer. The rice will be tender at this point.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and serve.

See also

Paella recipes: There are literally hundreds of paella recipes and every cook has their own favorite recipe. At Spain-recipes. com we've collected some of our favorite paella recipes, we recommend trying them all to discover the full variety of Spanish Paella!!! 

Valencia recipes: The incredible variety of rice dishes and desserts is outstanding. All this without forgetting the great variety of fruit which the Region of Valencia produces in abundance. Its traditional soft drinks have also become well-known, such as tiger nut milk ("horchata de chufa"). Its long wine-growing tradition has given rise to a delicious range of wines with their Denominations of Origin, which when added to the local soups comprise some of the most exquisite recipes of Valencian cooking.