Saffron Infused Cannellini Beans, Andouille Sausage
Craving one of those saffron infused bean dishes sometimes served Tapa style in Spain required finishing off the last of my .020 ounce (70g) of Spanish Saffron from Trader Joe’s.
This small amount typically yields anywhere up to three dishes in my home. Paella, Bouillabaisse, or Risotto Milanese anyone?
Actually, I’m happy to have noted this Saffron find at Trader Joe’s since one of my all-time favorite stores The Spice Shop at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia was a while back conveniently discarded, an inconvenience and unhappiness to me that still I’ve not gotten over.
So why does this uniquely perfumed, orange yellow infusion that highlights spectacular flavor and bright golden color to select dishes from throughout the world cost so much?
For one reason, the saffron crocus. The specifically cultivated host of over three thousand years merely produces three dried stigma per flower, that is correct, three.
This small yield per flower then is most commonly compared in the big picture as requiring enough flowers to cover the size of over two sports fields just to produce the mere equivalent of somewhere over a pound.
The expansive harvest seasoned within a single time window of one month per year whose processes remain unchanged even in modern times also necessitates the intricate labor intensive process of picking each stigma by hand before drying, in all, these factors may exhibit a small perspective on the cost ratio scale of producing saffron.
Among the top producing countries of saffron are Spain, whose product is included in our recipe today, Iran, Italy, Greece, India and Kashmir but saffron is grown in some other countries throughout the world.
Although the more commonly known dishes using saffron include the French Fish Soup, Bouillabaisse, a Spanish Favorite, Paella, and the Italian Risotto Milanese, it is however worthwhile to note that many Western, and Southern Asia cuisines use saffron in a variety of culinary dishes, including their own rice based versions.
Author, Laura Kelley provides a few interesting recipes with the use of saffron in her cookbook once featured on Spiced Peach Blog called: The Silk Road Gourmet, Volume One: Western and Southern Asia, A Journey through the Cuisines of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. Including an array of unique recipes, youou can check out Laura’s Blog here.
Yes, apparently these saffron flowers have been growing in essential side gardens of some in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Amish areas for years while using their homegrown saffron stigmas toward preparing their Pennsylvania Dutch style of cuisine in chicken, soup, rice, or dessert dishes.
Since it is now garden planting season in the Pennsylvania area, you may want to consider setting some space aside to grow your own share of this expensive as gold crop. I have identified one particularly interesting Post on where to obtain the Saffron Crocus and the gardening tips involved in planting in Pennsylvania so before beginning you can check it out here. If you decide to try it I would love to hear your results and perhaps we can even share some tips.
Since Saffron is a spice requiring diligence on not using too much a very small amount goes a long way. Today’s dish saffron cost would be around one-dollar.
So although the upfront costs of bulk Saffron match the equivalent of gold you can still enjoy preparing from the most highly prized of spices in creating the simplest of dishes like this delicious dish of Saffron Infused Cannellini Beans, Andouille Sausage, which at its finish turns out to be a pretty good deal.