I love saffron. Most of my house recipes use it in varying amounts but I have also been known to experiment a little to find out the “best” combination.
For starters, there’s also the issue of what happens when the saffron is washed away and left to dry out. In other words, there’s this whole situation in your kitchen where a whole bunch of saffron is hanging out and not touching anything. I like to rinse it off before cooking with it, but if there are leaves or stems left on the saffron, the taste will be the same as if it had been stored in a dark and damp environment as it was originally harvested (and probably should have been).
If you want the saffron to have a fresher, stronger flavor, don’t wash it off in the first place. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours.
And if the leaves are still standing, there will be some flavor left in the finished dish anyway.
How long to dry saffron?
Since saffron has a high moisture content and can get very heavy, many people dry it out. My husband says that by about week 6 or 8 the leaves won’t even be noticeable in a dish. Here are my tips.
First, when I get the saffron in the garden, I usually give it a thorough rinse in a brine or brine solution. There’s no need to dry it out directly on a cutting board. (I also rinse it off the cutting board using kitchen twine or rags, which I don’t recommend unless you have a lot of leaves.)
After they’re fully trimmed, cut off any stalks that don’t have leaf tissue.
Now, dry them with paper towels (I find that towel drying is the best technique because everything gets rubbed into the towel) over a moderate heat setting in a dry spot outside.
Then, I set them outdoors on a cutting board. In the winter, use large pieces of tree branch from where you have some branches hanging down (but don’t cut the whole thing—just any branch without leaf tissue).
And finally, I cut them about 3/4 to 1 inch down and let them dry inside for the best results.
Is it a good idea to store saffron?
The traditional storage method of storing it is to let it sit out from the weather and be ready to serve
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