Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Core the tomatoes, cut into wedges and place in a medium bowl; season with salt, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss. Set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet or a paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, paprika, cayenne and saffron and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add the fennel wedges and cook until lightly browned on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip the fennel and add the baby artichokes and eggplant to the skillet; cook until slightly tender, about 4 more minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by about one-third. Stir in the rice and 1 3/4 teaspoons salt; add just enough water to cover the rice completely, 2 1/2 to 3 cups. Increase the heat to high and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Scatter the haricots verts and 2 tablespoons capers over the rice. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange the tomatoes on top; drizzle with any tomato juices.
Transfer the paella to the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Scatter the remaining 2 tablespoons capers and the piquillo peppers over the paella. Turn off the oven but leave the paella inside to continue cooking until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 more minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired
Photograph by Yunhee Kim
How To: Trim Baby Artichokes 1. Peel the outside layer off the stem with a paring knife, working from the end of the stem toward the bulb. 2. Snap off the tough outer leaves of the artichoke until only pale yellow-green leaves remain. 3. Cut 1 inch off the top of the leaves. Halve the artichokes lengthwise and soak in lemon water until ready to cook.
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
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