How a small Lake County farm became North America’s largest saffron producer
âI tend to make my own chicken broth. It’s so easy if you have roast chicken, and it’s totally okay to use a vegetable broth, âPrice said of this recipe, which she makes with squash and green vegetables. ‘she cultivates. âIt’s a complete meal with those vegetables in there. Looks like this soup is keeping you good for the winter.
Autumn vegetable stew with saffron
Makes 6 servings
2 teaspoons (a good pinch) of saffron
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 pinch of kosher salt
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
4 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 to 2 small winter squash, such as butternut or buttercup, peeled and cubed
3 cups cooked chickpeas (you can use canned chickpeas)
8 large leaves (4 cups) winter greens, such as cabbage, swiss chard or kale
For the garnish: saffron aioli (recipe follows)
Grind the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle or with your fingers. Take Â¼ cup of hot broth and add saffron to make it bloom. Put aside.
Cook the vegetables over medium-low heat, adding the spices and salt, for five minutes.
Add broth, cubed potatoes, cubed winter squash and chickpeas. Add the flowering saffron with its liquid. Cover and bring the stew to a boil.
Julienne the greens (finely chop on the diagonal) and add to the stew after simmering for 10 minutes. Cook until carrots and squash are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
Serve in a rustic bowl, with crusty bread and aioli fillets on top.
The following two recipes are from Perry Hoffman, chef / partner of the Boonville Hotel in Boonville. You can also make this recipe in a blender or food processor.
Makes about 2 cups
4 cloves of garlic
Salt, to taste
1 pinch of Peace & Plenty saffron (bloomed in 1 tablespoon of water at 200 degrees for 15 minutes)
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tbsp dijonnaise
2 cups of good extra virgin olive oil
In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt. Add all the other ingredients except the oil. Drizzle very slowly with oil while emulsifying.
Hoffman suggests a good white bean like Sonora or butter bean (lima bean).
âWe all love the dry beans from the Boonville Barn Collective here in Anderson Valley,â he said. “The Sonora Bean might be our all time favorite.”
Simple Jar of Beans with Saffron and Meyer Lemon
Makes 6 servings as a side dish
1 pound of good white beans
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
â gram of Peace & Plenty saffron (infused for at least 30 minutes in 1 tablespoon of water at 200 degrees)
3 tablespoons of butter
1 Meyer lemon, zested and squeezed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives and rosemary
Carefully collect the beans then rinse thoroughly. If you have time to soak the beans, do so, either overnight or starting early in the morning of the day you want to cook them. Soaking will speed up the cooking time and give the beans a nice fullness that is not always obtained without this step.
To soak, cover the beans with water a few inches and leave them outside overnight or for at least four hours. Drain the beans and discard the soaking water. Place the beans in a large, heavy saucepan and add fresh water in an amount about double or triple the volume of the beans. Bring the water to a boil and cook the beans, uncovered, until tender. Depending on the type of bean and its freshness, the cooking time can range from 35 minutes to three hours or more.
Season with salt during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking, when the beans are almost ready. Add the saffron (with the water) at this point as well. This gives the beans enough time to start absorbing some of the salt and saffron. (Salting earlier can sometimes result in hard beans or beans that decompose more than desired.) Cool the beans to room temperature in their liquid.
To finish: transfer about half of the beans to a saucepan and add the butter, herbs, lemon zest and juice. Simmer until the butter is melted; remove from fire. Reserve the rest of the beans for another use. Serve with almost any protein.
Editor-in-Chief Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or [email protected] On Twitter @ dianepete56