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Saffron Rice

A pinch of brilliant burnt-orange saffron, the stigmas of small purple crocuses, gives a dish a slightly bitter and floral flavor. Saffron is traditionally used to perfume bouillabaisse, but it can add a layer of fragrance and color to aromatic basmati. If you don't have saffron, use turmeric (Indian saffron) instead.

  • Servings: 4


  • 2 pinches of saffron, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine the saffron and boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the rice under cold water. Place the rice, 1 3/4 cups water, and saffron in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

  2. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and either spoon into the bouillabaisse or serve on the side.

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