As incredible as it may seem, this is my 1,000th post. It really doesn’t feel like I write that much, sometimes, but there you have it… I wanted to share an awesome picture called Spring delights, by Tamas Wachsler, and call it a day, but it’s copyrighted, so I can only link to it. Instead, I’m going to share a Serious Eats recipe that includes saffron, since the Engineer and I both love it so much! I’ve adapted it a little by including instructions for parboiling the rice. I ended up with more parboiled rice than the 1 cup called for and I used all of it, because, why not? I didn’t have any trouble with the amount of liquid further in the recipe, so that’s the way I’ll keep making it. You could make this without the pine nuts if you wanted. I served it with honey-thyme roasted pork loin; it serves about 4 as a side. This pilaf is fantastic, but then again, it’s hard to go wrong with saffron!
1 cup rice (I used Arborio rice), plus water
1 cup water (not including the water for parboiling the rice)
1 cup low-sodium organic chicken or vegetable stock
½ tsp. saffron
2 tsp. unsalted butter (or margarine)
¼ cup orzo
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tsp. orange zest
3 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
freshly cracked black pepper (use in moderation, so as not to overpower the saffron)
Put some water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the rice and boil it for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the water and stock with the saffron over medium heat.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo, and toast until golden brown, about 90 seconds. Add the shallot, and season with salt. Sauté on low heat until the shallot is translucent, about 2 ½ minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat in the butter. Add the water, stock, and saffron, and raise the heat to high to bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 16 to 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and stir in orange zest, pine nuts, and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.