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Saffron - I need your best recipe!

I was just given a large amount of Saffron by my parents who were in Tunisia where it is abundant. I really look forward to cooking with it, but aside from flavoring rice, I am not sure what to do with it. I would be very happy to get some recipe ideas - especially if you love and cook with Saffron. All ideas welcome. Thanks Chowhounders!

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  1. I have been making French Butter Cookies and added crushed saffron threads and scraped a vanilla bean into the batter. MMM Yum.

    I can give you a link to the Butter Cookie recipe if you are interested.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sarah galvin

      I would be very inteerested to have the recipe. Thanks!

    2. Infuse some threads into boiling water prior to making up cous-cous. When cooled and fluffed up fold in: cubed feta, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil. This makes a wonderful cold side dish. Actually I've just started using deli-counter tubs of sun-dried toms and grilled or roasted peppers stirred into cous-cous with their juices and some feta. It's lovely.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robin Joy

        Sounds delicious. I will try that. Thanks!

      2. Lots of great suggestions here, too:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/528400

        Edit - also - You might just want to make some saffron rice with it and see how it is. My husband brought me a huge box of saffron from Egypt, and I ended up throwing it out, as it wasn't really saffron.

        1. Basic risotto (I use Marcella Hazan's recipe) calls for saffron, and it is fabulous!

          1 Reply
          1. re: roxlet

            I second a basic risotto (let the saffron 'bloom' in the preferably homemade-stock) if you want to get crazy, some butter poached shrimp/lobster/langostines on top too (which you can make some quick stock from

          2. it's not a recipe, but i really enjoy saffron yogurt. i just let grind up some saffron (a few threads) into a little milk or water to release the flavor and color. then i just mix that into some good yogurt along with sugar to taste. it's tasty!

            1 Reply
            1. re: arifa

              I do that too. Similarly- when I'm feeling like making the effort I also make a saffron pudding (just substitute saffron for vanilla in a vanilla pudding recipe). If you really want to take it another step further just substitute coconut milk for the regular milk in the pudding (saffron/coconut pudding). It's awesome with some shaved chocolate on top.

              You can also add it to kheer (be it made of rice, vermicelli or tapioca).

              Yeah- I have a lot of saffron on my hands too ;)

            2. A seafood soup made with a broth infused with fennel and saffron, nice bread, it's delicious!

              2 Replies
                1. re: WCchopper

                  I agree. A seafood soup or stew......Bouillabaisse.

                2. Paella - technically, it's rice but it's darn good rice. I haven't made it in years but it used to be one of my staples.

                  1. I like to make this as a filling for buckwheat crepes:

                    2 shallots, minced
                    2 3-inch pieces of orange zest
                    1 can diced tomatoes
                    2 pinches saffron
                    salt and pepper to taste
                    small log of goat cheese

                    saute shallots; add tomatoes and orange; simmer for 20 min. or until it reduces slightly; add saffron cook a minute or two more; season; place in a baking dish; top with rounds of goat cheese and broil until cheese browns (about 7 minutes, depending on your broiler). Would also just be a great dip for bread. But it's great in crepes and so, so easy!

                    1. oven, 350F
                      -Olive oil grease a pie tin (or something oven safe), and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pinch of saffron.
                      - top with top quality ricotta cheese, and salt and pepper top of cheese
                      -bake until golden brown (25min)

                      serve warm saffron cheese with a combo of the following:
                      bread
                      salad
                      thinly shaved fennel
                      lemon juice
                      more olive oil

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: relizabeth

                        That sounds great-- I am copying it down...

                      2. Oooh.... and I forgot honey-saffron ice cream! Just find a good recipe for honey-vanilla ice cream and add a pinch of saffron to the warm custard. Beautiful color and delicious.

                        1. You can add it to paella, risotto, garlic soup.

                          You can also beat it into scrambled eggs. A little bit goes a long way. Do you have powder or theads. I have found that to get the most red out of it, let your saffron dislolve in a few teaspoons of water before you add it to your recipe.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                            I have threads, so I guess a little goes a long way?

                            1. re: SamuelAt

                              Threads are better than the powder, it is the real thing. Let them soak in a small amount of water prior to use. A little goes a long way, add more for stronger color.

                          2. Rouille for a bouillabaisse -- basically a saffron garlic aioli. I like either French Soupe de Poissons or the Zuni Cafe's chicken bouillabaisse.

                            http://www.savour-fare.com

                            1. Persian Love Cake from Epicurious has a saffron and rose-flower water flavored icing: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                              I haven't made this, but I saw it on another thread and am ready to make it asap!

                              ~evergreengirl

                              1. shrikhand/ice cream/pots de creme

                                1. I've been making sauteed fennel with coriander and saffron threads. This is on the holiday issue in gourmet. i've been eating this ever since... great for lunch the next day also.

                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  I'll steal the couscous idea. sounds yummy with some grilled fish!

                                  1. I like to use it in a mussel dish. Make a "broth" of white wine, shallots, cream, garlic and saffron. Steam the mussels in the sauce and add a handful fresh spinach. Make sure you have a nice bread to soak up all of the sauce. It's really good.

                                    1. SamuelAr -

                                      How are your saffron experiences going? Do you find that you like the savory or sweet version of the recipes that many have offered? Do you find that you just don't like saffron and want to ship it to me?!? <grin>

                                      Please report back when you can

                                      1. I like making a nut masala with 1/2 cup blanched almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashew, 1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, 1 Tbs. lightly toasted ground green cardamom, and finally 1 tsp. saffron threads. Finely process the nuts, add the cardamom and saffron threads. Keep in an airtight container An aromatic garnish for ice cream or sorbet, Steep in cream for pannacotta or creme brulee, nice in angel food cake, delicious with a little honey in steamed milk!

                                        1. I love saffron too! Lately, I have been using quite a lot of it in making Ina Garten's Chicken Bouillabaise...recipe can be found on Food Network's website or in Ina's Back to Basics cookbook. (a great book, by the way!). The saffron brings a lot to the party..its my favorite new dish of '08. Cheaper than traditional bouillabaise and luxuriously delicious. Lucky you! what a great gift to get from your parents.

                                          1. Hi Sam. These cookies look wonderful!! Thanks for the idea and posting.