Copyright 2002 by Sally Schneider

Makes 1/2 cup, 4-6 servings

This lovely vinaigrette made from orange or tangerine juice and saffron oil makes a fine sauce for grilled asparagus, fennel, Vidalia onions, and red peppers, as well as fish and shellfish.

Because it has such an intense flavor, about 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinaigrette will amply sauce one serving—a 5-ounce fish fillet or 1 cup of grains or vegetables, for example. When it is spooned onto the plate, the oil and juice will separate, creating a beautiful mottled effect.

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed, unsweetened orange, blood orange, or tangerine juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Saffron Oil (recipe follows), or more to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice (optional)

In a small saucepan, over moderately high heat, boil the juice until it is syrupy and reduced to a scant 1/2 cup (taste the juice to determine when it is concentrated enough), 25-30 minutes. Add the oil and boil 30 seconds. Then add just enough salt and pepper to heighten the flavor. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Storage: Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Reheat gently before serving

Saffron Oil

Adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001). Copyright 2001 by Sally Schneider.

This golden oil is so intensely flavored you need only a few drops per serving. Drizzle over seafood or tomato dishes, into soups and broths, or over pasta or potatoes and beans.

In a small jar, crush 2 large pinches of saffron threads with the back of a spoon (you should have about 1 teaspoon crushed saffron). Stir in 2 teaspoons hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup each grapeseed and extra-virgin olive oil over low heat until hot. Pour over the saffron, cover, and shake the jar. Set aside to infuse for at least 24 hours before using.