With out fail, this tender, delicately flavored dish of lemony saffron-honey salmon claims a spot on my eating desk each spring throughout Nowruz (Persian New Yr) celebrations. Just like consuming turkey at Christmas and lamb at Easter, consuming fish with sabzi polo (Persian herbed rice) is synonymous with this competition rooted in Zoroastrianism, an historical Persian faith.
Historically in Iran, sabzi polo is eaten with smoked white fish caught within the Caspian sea. Nonetheless, many people within the diaspora have tailored to make use of the fish that’s accessible to us. Primarily, we’ll put together and serve broiled marinated salmon and/or a crispy battered white fish, similar to gray mullet, alongside our well-known herbed rice dish.
This recipe is my family recipe, which I’ve tailored to incorporate some honey. I discover that the honey enhances the saffron, lemon, and garlic within the marinade and balances the flavors completely. Apart from marinating the salmon in a single day, the preparation and cooking time take lower than 25 minutes.
Exterior of Nowruz, this broiled salmon will be eaten anytime throughout the 12 months and is equally scrumptious served with roasted greens or a hearty herby salad like orzo tabbouleh. And, as an alternative choice to broiling, you possibly can bake, air-fry, or grill the salmon.
What Is Saffron and Why Is It Costly?
For individuals who may not be aware of this spice, contemplate this a little bit crash course. Saffron is a fragile, bright-red spice that’s derived from the stigmas of the crocus flower. It has a musty and floral taste profile.
Saffron is the most costly spice per gram on this planet, and has rightfully earned its nickname of “crimson gold.” It’s because every crocus flower yields solely three stigmas, that are picked by hand after which dried to create saffron strands. Reportedly, it takes as much as 200,000 particular person stigmas to yield about one pound of saffron! The labor-intensive harvesting course of, mixed with the low crop yield, makes this spice costlier.
Saffron is graded based mostly on its aroma, colour, and taste. It’s additional graded based on the quantity of crimson stigma and yellow kinds (aka strands) it accommodates. When shopping for saffron, don’t purchase pre-ground saffron; as an alternative shoot for threads to make sure it accommodates crimson stigma ideas solely, with no orange or yellow kinds.
Iran and Spain are thought of to be the 2 predominant gamers within the manufacturing of high-grade saffron, so I like to recommend shopping for saffron produced by these two international locations. Extra particularly, Iranian sargol and Spanish coupé are each wonderful high-grade saffron.
Is There a Substitute for Saffron?
There isn’t any substitute for saffron on this recipe. And don’t be tempted to make use of turmeric; whereas it has the same golden colour, it has a totally completely different taste profile.