Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trivia and Recipes: Springs first Blooms

In the last week the crocus have been blooming which is the clear reminder that winter is coming to a close. Lying in the muddy garden for a photo of these little blooms are always worthwhile.
The crocus is grown commercially for the stamen which is the spice called saffron. I tend to find it interesting to discover what herbalists used spices for centuries ago and I found some fun information (*see Consume With Care in right hand column). In the past it has been used in perfumes, used medicinally in teas for melancholy and as an aphrodisiac (this seems to be a common theme from ancient times). Another interesting factoid is it was thought if you bathed in it, it could help heal wounds. As saffron was (and I'm sure still is) used as a dye I sure would hate to scrub that bath tub clean!

Traditionally I’ve always thought of it used in rice dishes such as paella. While this is definitely the case I scouted, one of my favorite sites for new recipes, and found some appealing new ways to use the precious spice. Perhaps it’s time to celebrate spring and make a dish with saffron?

Cod with Mussels, Chorizo, Fried Croutons, and Saffron Mayonnaise

Cod Chowder with Saffron and Fingerling Potatoes
mmm, seems I may be in the mood for cod….

Sautéed Fennel with Almonds, Raisins, and Saffron

(be sure to click on the photos which are linked)


its simple love said...

Beautiful photos of the flowers. And I really shouldn't blog hungry anymore. I am going to go make lunch.

p.s. don't forget to enter my Peruvian Feather Earring GIVEAWAY at


PrairieGarden-Liane said...

Thanks Rachael!
Beautiful earrings in your give-a-way!

MrBrownThumb said...

Lucky You!!! My crocus haven't bloomed yet, although maybe that means I'm lucky since I'll get to have blooms when other don't.

PrairieGarden-Liane said...

Hi MrBrown Thumb, I'm sure you have all of those wonderful Chicago skyscrapers casting shade on your garden, delaying their blooms. :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

blake said...

Mmmm, delicious recipe ideas! Especially the fennel. I'm attempting to grow it this year for the first time -- fingers crossed ;)

PrairieGarden-Liane said...

Blake, I look forward to hearing how your fennel crop does. I do want to try this recipe as well, may-be this weekend....

The Gaudy Garden said...

gorgeous photos.

PrairieGarden-Liane said...

Thanks Mr. Gaudy Garden - love your blog!