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Saffron Rice Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for dressing

1 Spanish onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups long grain white rice

4 cups water

1 large pinch saffron threads

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 spears asparagus, grilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 red pepper, fire roasted and diced

1 yellow pepper, fire roasted and diced

3/4 cup salt cured olives, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, ie: parsley or cilantro leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons aged Sherry vinegar


  1. Heat oil in medium pot on grates of grill or side burners. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains of rice with the oil.
  2. Place the water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the saffron to the onion mixture and let boil 1 minute. Add the boiling water to the rice, stir, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and let cook 12 to 14 minutes or until the rice is just cooked. Let the rice sit, covered for 5 minutes then fluff with fork.
  3. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and add the asparagus, peppers, olives and herbs. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a few tablespoons of aged sherry vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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