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Click on the above link to return to the main wine and food page. There you will find a listing of twelve different varieties of wine and the menus specially chosen to create perfect pairings. This recipe was chosen specifically for a big California Zinfandel. If you would like to learn more about this grape, and see the rest of our Zinfandel dinner, click the link above.
Saffron comes from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus. Typically saffron has a slightly bitter taste and adds a beautiful yellow color to the rice. It is the world's most expensive spice.
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice (basmati is great)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1/4 stick butter
tiny pinch of powdered ginger or cinnamon (optional)
golden raisins and toasted pine nuts, sliced almonds, or pecans (optional)*
olive oil*
salt and pepper.
1. In a large, lidded sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add saffron and turn heat down to medium-low. Allow saffron to steep for 5-10 minutes, until the water is a beautiful golden-orange color.

2. Add rice, butter and spice. Return to boil. Cover pot and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 20 minutes without stirring. Fluff with a fork, add salt to taste, and serve immediately. Garnish with raisins and nuts if desired.

* If desired, saute pine nuts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until slightly browned - do not overcook.