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Three plates of Saffron Pistachio Rolls and a fork, ready to be savored.

A Touch Of Gold: 6 Must-Try Recipes Using Saffron

Are you ready to infuse your kitchen with warmth and vibrancy with the beautifully floral notes of saffron? Saffron, a spice renowned for its exotic aroma and rich flavor profile is an amazing addition to so many dishes from risottos to curries, sweet buns and more. As a company with strong ties to Iran, the world's top producer of this legendary spice, we have a high standard for the quality of the saffron we sell and the dishes we create with it! Join us as we unravel the magic of saffron and present you with our top eight irresistible recipes infused with the golden hues and aromatic wonders of this incredible spice!

The Allure of Saffron: A Touch of Luxury in Every Dish

Saffron, an aromatic treasure with origins dating back to ancient civilizations, has been prized for its culinary, medicinal, and even mystical properties. Its journey from the fields of Persia, Greece and Mesopotamia where it was cultivated with care, to the tables of royalty, has bestowed upon it a status of unparalleled elegance making it a truly special addition to your spice rack. While it's true that saffron comes with a price tag, a little goes a long way, making it a wise investment for your kitchen.

Reasons To Include Saffron In Your Cooking:

1. Culinary Elegance:

Saffron's distinct flavor adds an unparalleled depth to dishes, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Just a few strands can elevate your culinary creations, providing a touch of luxury that resonates in every bite.

2. Health Boost:

Beyond its culinary charm, saffron boasts impressive health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, saffron has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to overall well-being. Including saffron in your recipes allows you to indulge in both flavor and health.

3. Economical Usage:

Given its potent flavor profile, you'll find that a small quantity of saffron goes a long way. The investment in this spice pays off as it imparts a rich and aromatic character to your dishes, ensuring a delightful dining experience without the need for excessive quantities.

4. Mood Enhancement:

Saffron has also been associated with mood enhancement. The presence of certain compounds in saffron may contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being. A culinary journey with saffron becomes not just a feast for the palate but a treat for the senses.

Now that we've explored the enticing benefits of saffron, let's venture into the heart of our culinary journey – the irresistible saffron-infused recipes that await you!

A bowl of pumpkin saffron soup garnished with a sprig of saffron, creating a vibrant and flavorful dish.

1. Creamy Saffron Pumpkin Soup

Picture this: a chilly evening, a cozy blanket, and a bowl of saffron-infused soup. Pure bliss, right? Let's dive into this delicious soup recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A generous pinch of saffron threads
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Sauté Aromatics:
    • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until fragrant and translucent.
  2. Add Vegetables:
    • Incorporate diced pumpkin and chopped carrots into the pot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the aromatic base.
  3. Infuse with Saffron:
    • In a small bowl, soak saffron threads in a tablespoon of hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes to release its vibrant color and flavor. Add the saffron-infused water to the pot, ensuring an even distribution.
  4. Spice it Up:
    • Sprinkle ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper into the pot. Stir the ingredients to combine and allow the spices to mingle with the vegetables.
  5. Pour in Liquids:
    • Pour in the vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Blend to Smooth Perfection:
    • Once the vegetables are fully cooked, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth and velvety. Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender in batches, blending until creamy.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices to suit your preference.
  8. Serve and Garnish:
    • Ladle the creamy saffron pumpkin soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness and color.
  9. Enjoy the Golden Elixir:
    • Relish this soul-warming saffron soup, celebrating the rich flavors and aromatic bliss that saffron brings to your cozy evenings. Perfect for autumn or whenever you crave a bowl of comfort.

A white bowl filled with saffron rice, a vibrant yellow dish that is visually appealing and appetizing.

2. Saffron Rice, All Day Everyday!

Ah, saffron rice – the mere mention of this enchanting dish fills us with excitement! A timeless classic both simple and versatile, this may be our favorite saffron dish to create. Because of our love (okay, obsession) for this dish, we have created an entire blog post dedicated just to Saffron Rice where we reveal our secrets to creating the perfect saffron rice, substitutes, what to pair it with, and much more! Check it out here.

3. Elevating Roasted Veggies With Saffron:

Vegetarian dishes take center stage with the transformative power of saffron. Instead of making this recipe ingredient specific, we want to show you how you can incorporate saffron into any dish using whatever vegetables you have on hand. 

Selecting and Preparing your Veg:

Kickstart your culinary venture by choosing an array of fresh, seasonal vegetables. Ensure each piece is cut into uniform shapes (approximately 2 inch chunks), so as they all cook evenly. Pop them in a bowl while you prepare your saffron infusion.

Soak Your Saffron:

Here is where the magic happens when cooking with saffron. Elevate your roasted vegetables by creating a saffron infusion. Steep saffron threads in warm water, unveiling a golden essence that will add a vibrant hue and  a touch of sophistication to your tray of veggies.

Coat Your Veg In Oil:

Craft a flavorful canvas by generously coating the vegetables with olive oil, then introduce your saffron infusing by pouring it on top of your vegetables and mix well.

Add In Complimentary Spices:

Elevate the overall flavor profile by incorporating complementary spices such as garlic, cumin, or paprika. 

Bake In The Oven:

Lay out your seasoned vegetables on a baking sheet and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Let the saffron intertwine with natural sugars for a transformative roasting experience. Roast until the vegetables attain a golden-brown perfection (about 30 to 40 minutes) 

You can also incorporate ingredients such as honey, lemon and herbs such as thyme - just about anything you would normally use on a roasted vegetable recipe you can use here and saffron will compliment it wonderfully.

A bowl of baked oats with a spoon and a cup of coffee, perfect for a hearty breakfast.

4. Persian Love-Baked Oats

Baked oats are everywhere on our instagram feeds and we just had to recreate them with a Persian twist. We’ve added rosewater, saffron and rose petals and topped them with pistachios and white chocolate chunks for a dessert-like breakfast perfect for when you want to show yourself or a loved one a little TLC. Check out the full recipe here.

A glass of saffron infused tea on a white table next to saffron

5. The Ultimate Golden Elixir: Saffron Infused Tea

There's something truly magical about saffron-infused teas. Whether you're a tea enthusiast or just looking for a simple yet unique beverage experience, saffron tea is your answer. Leveraging saffron's potential to boost dopamine levels in the brain, this tea provides more than just a sensory treat—it invites you on a soothing journey of relaxation. 

How to Make Saffron Tea:

Ingredients:

  • Saffron strands
  • Hot water
  • Honey (optional, for sweetening)
  1. Gather Your Saffron:

    • Measure out the desired amount of saffron strands. Typically, a small pinch (about 10-15 strands) is sufficient for a cup of tea.
  2. Infuse Saffron in Hot Water:

    • Place the saffron strands in a teapot or a cup.
    • Pour hot water over the saffron. The water should be hot but not boiling to preserve the delicate flavors of saffron.
  3. Allow Steeping:

    • Let the saffron steep in the hot water for at least 5-10 minutes. This allows the saffron's flavors and aromas to infuse into the water.
  4. Optional: Add Honey for Sweetness:

    • If you prefer a sweetened tea, add honey to taste. Stir well to ensure the honey dissolves completely.
  5. Strain (Optional):

    • If you used whole saffron strands and prefer a clear tea, you can strain the tea as you pour it into your cup. Alternatively, leave the strands for a visually appealing presentation.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:

    • Pour the saffron tea into your favorite teacup or mug.
    • Take a moment to savor the rich aroma and golden hue of your saffron-infused creation.
  7. Optional Garnish:

    • For an extra touch of elegance, you can garnish the tea with a saffron strand or a sprinkle of saffron on the surface.

Three plates of Saffron Pistachio Rolls and a fork, ready to be savored.

6. Saffron Pistachio Rolls

Indulge in the exquisite fusion of saffron's warm notes and the buttery richness of pistachios with these delectable Saffron Pistachio Rolls. Perfect for a leisurely brunch or as a delightful treat for your afternoon tea. Get the recipe here.

Is It Necessary To Infuse Saffron In Liquid Before Cooking?

You've probably noticed that in each recipe we've included a step to soak th saffron in water, and perhaps your wondering if you can skip this step and directly add the saffron. We highly recommend carrying out this step before adding saffron to any dish to withdraw its golden color and unique flavor. Infusing saffron in liquid before integrating it into recipes is a pivotal step that optimizes its flavor, fragrance, and vivid hue. Saffron carries its distinctive characteristics, such as its unique taste and rich color, in water-soluble compounds like crocin (responsible for color) and picrocrocin (contributing to the taste). By steeping saffron in liquid, typically warm water, these compounds dissolve and disperse more effectively, ensuring a uniform distribution throughout the dish.

Additionally, allowing saffron to infuse provides the necessary time for its flavors and color to fully release. This meticulous process ensures that saffron's exceptional traits seamlessly blend into the recipe, enhancing the overall culinary experience.

Infusing saffron before introducing it to a dish allows for the extraction of its maximum flavor and color potential. This practice is especially vital in delicate recipes, where the nuanced taste and visual allure of saffron significantly contribute to the overall refinement of the gastronomic encounter.

To Wrap Up

So there you have it, our favorite recipes and ways to use saffron in the kitchen. Let the magic of saffron resonate in your kitchen, turning every meal into a celebration of flavors, aromas, and the extraordinary journey that is the world of saffron-infused delights. Cheers to culinary adventures and the timeless charm of saffron!

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