Saffron... one of the most expensive of all spices. But fortunately saffron only needs to be used in very small quantities. To be honest, I'm not too sure how to describe the flavour of saffron. Does it really have a taste? I think it's just a gorgeous (again, expensive) food dye. A little saffron threads will give a dish beautiful golden yellow colour.
The recipe below suppose to serves 2, but I managed to gulp it all. There are 3 possible reasons: maybe because I was starving or maybe because the risotto was super delicious or... maybe I'm just greedy. I'm almost sure it's the second one.
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
Serves 2 as a main course (with some left over) or 4 as a starter or side dish
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
1 x 0.4 g packet saffron threads (about 1 teaspoon)
50 g butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1 x 15 ml tablespoon olive oil
50 g shallots, finely chopped or 1/2 onion, finely chopped
250 g risotto rice
125 ml dry marsala
4 x 15 ml tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the stock in a saucepan, add the saffron threads and put over the lowest heat just to keep it warm. Melt the butter with olive oil in a wide, shallow, heavy-based saucepan over a low to medium heat, add the chopped shallots (or onion) and cook for a couple of minutes or so, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until softened.
Add the risotto rice and keep stirring for a minute or so, then turn up the heat and add the marsala - which will bubble up excitedly - stirring until it is absorbed.
Start ladling in the hot, golden, saffron-infused stock, letting each ladleful become absorbed as you stir before adding the next. Stir and ladle until the rice is cooked with still a slight bite to it - about 18 minutes, maybe a little before - by which time you will probably have finished all your stock. However, if you find the rice is cooked to the texture you like before the stock's run out, do not finish it.
Turn off the heat, stirring still, and beat in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the Parmesan, then season to taste. Serve immediately with some grated Parmesan on the table.