Saffron Rice

Saffron Rice

The bright yellow of this yummy side dish always makes me smile! Saffron is a fantastic spice. The sheer intensity of labor involved in its harvest more than justifies its hefty price tag. Fortunately, a little goes a very long way, so the cost per dish is quite reasonable. On a per-gram basis, though, it’s widely known to be more expensive than gold! Wikipedia has a well-referenced article that’s quite fascinating. I knew that saffron is the hand-harvested stigma from a specific variety of autumn-blooming crocus. That means someone has to get down on the ground and painstakingly pick the individual threads from the blossoms. About one hundred fifty blossoms are needed for each gram of dried saffron threads. I didn’t know, though, that each corm (bulb) only survives one season. It forms several baby corms, which must then be dug up, divided, and planted for the next crop. Even more work! Lucky for you and me, though, the work of producing saffron far exceeds the work of making saffron rice. It’s quick and easy!

There are many reputable producers and sellers of quality saffron. I get mine from Penzeys (no surprise to anyone who knows me or who has read more than a couple of my posts.) Don’t be tempted to buy a huge jar to save money unless you use a lot of saffron. If you only cook with it rarely, you’re better off buying a tiny bit so that it doesn’t go stale before you have a chance to use it up. I don’t recommend ever purchasing pre-ground saffron for two reasons. First, saffron begins losing quality the instant it’s ground, so you won’t be getting your money’s worth. Second, ground saffron is pretty easy to cheat on. Some less reputable producers have been known to cut it with turmeric and paprika, which means you really won’t be getting your money’s worth. Stick with the whole threads and grind them yourself; it only takes a minute.

Serve saffron rice with nearly any cuisine. I’m particularly fond of serving it with grilled lamb chops, but it’s also great with chicken and fish. Dress it up with veggies or dried fruit, or use it as the base for a more complex dish. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:

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1 cup (180 g) Jasmine rice

2 cups (480 ml) water

1 tablespoon butter

1 small shallot

½ teaspoon salt

1 pinch saffron (about 20 threads)

Preparation:

1.) Finely mince the shallot for about a tablespoon. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook briefly, just until they start to become fragrant and translucent.

2.) Crumble or grind the saffron and add it to the pot along with all the remaining ingredients. I like to use a small mortar and pestle to grind the saffron, then use the water to rinse the residual into the pan. Saffron is so yummy (and expensive) that I don’t want any to go to waste!

3.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover, and cook until the rice is done and the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 minutes).

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srNutritionLabel

Saffron Rice

Ingredients

1 cup (180 g) Jasmine rice

2 cups (480 ml) water

1 tablespoon butter

1 small shallot

½ teaspoon salt

1 pinch saffron (about 20 threads)

Directions

1.) Finely mince the shallot for about a tablespoon. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook briefly, just until they start to become fragrant and translucent.

2.) Crumble or grind the saffron and add it to the pot along with all the remaining ingredients. I like to use a small mortar and pestle to grind the saffron, then use the water to rinse the residual into the pan.

3.) Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, cover, and cook until the rice is done and the liquid has been absorbed (about 20 minutes).

4 Comments Add yours

  1. markizil says:

    Yummy! I really like the color of the rice! Yellow like mustard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thanks! It’s happy rice!

      Like

  2. I love saffron rice and always make it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      It goes with almost anything, & is so easy!

      Like

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