Saffron Jewel Rice

It’s been way too long since I posted a recipe. You know, life, busy, yada yada yada. Chris and I made this rice dish tonight for dinner and served it with braised lamb shoulder with tomatoes, carrots and onions. The inspiration being I really wanted to make something with saffron and so we came up with this Moroccan/Middle Eastern-esque menu. Weird how random ingredient leads (or possess) us sometimes.

This weekend was busier than usual. Lets see. On Friday I got rear ended while waiting to make a left turn by a car that was being rear ended by the car behind him. That wasn’t so much fun. Still need to get back to all the insurance agents. On Saturday, I was at the Ferry Building all day at the market helping my friends at Three Babes sell pies! It was a lot of fun, very tiring, but fun. The day started off on a scary note however as the person in the stall next to us had a seizure. I could feel my heart racing the whole time. I called 911 for an ambulance while my friend helped stabilize him. Then security and more help came, and then soon after first responders arrived. It was a lot for a Saturday morning.

My evening was a bit more festive. I co-hosted a bachelorette party for two friends who are also sisters! It was a lot of fun. I miss being silly and going dancing.

Today, Chris and I took some time to unwind. We went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park and you know what, it was actually warm and nice out. I always forget how massive and totally awesome the park is. It’s really beautiful.

And overall, my time is consumed with getting ready for Bay Leaf Kitchen’s first week of summer cooking and farm camp starting TOMORROW. Squeals! It’s an organization that I am leading with my friends Elianna and Rachel. Follow us here, or here, or here! I guess I should get ready for bed so I can be all smiles for the little campers. It definitely helps having such a delicious dinner 🙂

Note: this recipe is a teensy bit of work but the payoff is worth it! And yes, those are corgi napkins. I am that girl.

Saffron Jewel Rice 
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine
Serves 6


  • 1/2 teaspoon lightly crumbly saffron threads
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 wide strips orange zest, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • small pinch of cardamom, ground allspice & ground cumin
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed well
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

*Sprinkle the saffron into 1/4 cup hot water, let sit 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 2 cups water, the sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the orange zest and carrot, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl; set aside.
*Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cinnamon stick, cardamom, allspice, cumin, and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat. Add 3 cups of water, increase the heat to medium high and simmer until the water has mostly evaporated, about 4 minutes. Cover the pot with foil and the lid, reduce the heat to low and cook until the water is completely absorbed, about 12 minutes. (This took about 17 minutes for us.) Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
*Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pistachios and almonds and cook until just lightly golden, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the dried cranberries and apricots, and 1 tablespoon of the prepared saffron water; stir to combine, then transfer to a bowl and set aside for topping.
*Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork; discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer about half the rice to a serving bowl. Add the remaining saffron water, 1 tablespoon butter and the reserved orange peel and carrot to the rice in the pot and stir gently. Add the yellow rice to the white rice and gently toss; sprinkle with the pistachio mixture and parsley.



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