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Fragrant Saffron Pasta Salad

8 oz (240 g) small pasta shapes
4 teaspoon olive oil
1 pinch pure saffron powder or strands
1 oz (30 g) flaked almonds
2 oz (60 g) currants
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon clear honey
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and cut into slivers
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tblsp finely chopped fresh
1 coriander
1 salt and freshly ground
1 black pepper
1 fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

1. Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for a few minutes less than the pack instructions. Rinse well with cold water and drain thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the saffron, flaked almonds, currants and garlic. Cook gently, stirring, until the almonds turn a rich nutty brown. Remove from the heat and blend in the lime juice, honey, cumin and coriander.
3. Gently fold the pasta, pepper slivers and fresh herbs into the dressing until lightly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour and then serve the salad, garnished with sprigs of fresh coriander.
Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes + 1 hour chilling
Freezing not recommended Use the smallest pasta shapes (pastini) you can find for this spicy salad. Italian food shops may stock orzo (barley) pasta which resemble grains of rice. This beautifully fragrant and colourful salad is a good accompaniment to barbecued chicken or lamb.

Cucumber & Apple Salad with Saffron Dressing

4 Granny Smith or Pippin apples, skinned, cored and sliced in thin half moons or julienned
1 1/2 cups cucumbers, slice din tin half moons
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup parsley, minced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon cucumber, seeded and processed in a blender
1 tablespoon white sugar or honey
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Blend together dressing ingredients, set aside. Prepare apples, tossing slices in dressing to prevent them from turning brown. Toss all salad ingredients together and add dressing to taste, making sure not to over soak the salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Jicama & Red Onion Citrus Salad with Saffron Dressing

2 navel oranges, sectioned (or two 11 oz. cans of mandarin oranges)
1 large jicama, cut in julienne sticks about 1/4 inch thick
1 medium red onion, sliced in thin half moons (1 cup)
lettuce of your choice for salad base (my favorite for this is romaine)

1/2 cup orange juice or lime juice
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or orange marmalade
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

Toss together salad ingredients minus the lettuce. Whisk together dressing ingredients, adjusting for personal preference on sweetness. Marinate salad ingredients in one third of the dressing for 15 minutes. Place large lettuce leaf on each salad plate and top with jicama mixture. Pour a little of remaining dressing on each salad just before serving.

Saffroned White Bean Soup

11/2 cups white beans (navy) soaked overnight in cold water
10 cups vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups tomatoesdiced
salt & pepper to taste

In soup pot, cook drained beans in 9 cups of the vegetable stock, with the thyme and bay leaf. Heat a half-cup of the stock separately and dissolve the saffron in it. In a nonstick frying pan, sautÈ the onions and garlic in the remaining half cup of vegetable stick until soft. Add the wine to the garlic and onions and cook off before adding the tomato, slat and pepper. Remove half of the cooked beans and puree them in a blender. Add the pureed beans, saffroned broth and tomato mixture to the whole beans and broth and cook together for about 30 minutes. Serve with a dab of nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.

Vegan Saffron Frittata

1/2 teaspoon saffron
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup eggplant, diced
1 cup leek, sliced thin
1 cup celery, diced
11/2 cups mushrooms, diced thin
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & black pepper to taste
3 1/3 cups eggbeaters
nonfat sour cream
2 Roma tomatoes, diced (optional) parchment paper

Dissolve saffron in a tablespoon of hot vegetable broth. Set aside. Saute onion and garlic in vegetable broth until soft, then add the rest of the vegetables and spices and cook until vegetables are firm, not mushy. Cool vegetables in a colander or sieve resting over a pot so that any excess liquid drains off. Reserve cooking liquid for another use. Line a shallow baking pan or dish with parchment paper and cover with a light coat of nonstick spray. Whisk the eggbeaters slightly, then combine with drained, cooked vegetables. Bake in 350-degree oven about 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly before cutting. Serve with a little dab of nonfat sour cream mixed with reserved saffron cooking liquid. Fresh diced Roma tomatoes are also delicious as a topping.

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