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Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

Lactose
This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Sodium
This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
No specific GERD triggers.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.

 

"If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people."
-Chinese Proverb

The refrigerator light goes on...

Just a touch of saffron and oregano gives the sweet jasmine rice the most exotic taste.

Saffron

Saffron filaments are the dried red stigmas and the white style of crocus flowers. For me this has always been a lovely twist of fate because crocus are my favorite flower. I remember that they were the first flower that I could call by name. Our front yard was covered with them. Little did I know their value.

Describing the flavor of saffron is difficult because the taste is so complex. It is at once aromatic, woody, and umami with just a touch of sweetness. To me saffron tastes yellow - like a warm summer day in the woods.

I suppose that you could go out in the yard and pick the flowers, pulling the stigma out for drying yourself, but I prefer to pick up a few grams at the store. Besides, a gram of saffron about 500 threads. As each flower only yields 3 threads, going to the market is quite a bit easier. 

Most of the available saffron is harvested in Spain, but countries in the Middle East, including Iran, are popular producers. The latter saffron is not as intense to my palate and I generally try to find the Spanish import.

How much saffron? I generally use about 10 threads per serving, counting them out carefully. For some recipes I will make a saffron infusion: essentially saffron tea. I place the saffron in the bottom of a Pyrex measuring cup and add about a quarter cup of boiling water. Letting the threads steep in this way results in a more powerful aromatic saffron flavor especially in quick saute recipes.

For you saffron junkies out there John Humphries has written a lovely book called The Saffron Companion. I must admit that I don't purchase many specialty cookbooks like this one, but his writing is so wonderful, and because most of the recipes are Mediterranean or Middle Eastern they are both delicious and healthy.


 

Saffron Rice - Low Sodium Version



Servings = 2 | Serving size =1/2 cup rice

Cooking Time = 30 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 4.

The rice doesn’t keep well.

Not on a low-sodium diet? Here's the standard Saffron Rice.

1 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
30 threads saffron
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup jasmine rice

In a medium sauce pan, heat the water, salt, saffron and oregano. When the water boils stir in the jasmine rice.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes.

Do not boil away all of the liquid and do not stir the rice.

When a very small amount of liquid remains, remove the pan from the burner and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = about 1/2 cup cooked rice

Servings = 2

.

Amount Per Serving

Calories 171 Calories from Fat 0
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 0g 0%
    Saturated Fat 0g 0%
    Monounsaturated Fat 0g  
    Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 142mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
    Sugars g  
Protein 3g  
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 2% Iron 12%
Vitamin K 3 mcg Potassium 63 mg
Magnesium 13 mg